BI: Smartwatches to "Ignite" Wearables

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Business Insider Intelligence reports the wearables market is set for strong growth thanks to smartwatches, as shipments are forecast to grow to 148 million units by 2019, up from 33m in 2014.

The overall wearables CAGR for the 2014-2019 period is set to reach 35%, the analyst continues. The smartwatch CAGR for the same period is higher (41%), with the product category making 59% of 2014 shipments before growing to 70% by 2019.

wearables forecast

Perhaps predictably, the driver behind such smartwatch growth is the Apple Watch, which BI says will account for 40% of 2015 smartwatch shipments before reaching a 48% peak in 2017. As a result the device category will more or less reflect the smartphone situation, being divided near-equally between Apple Watches and Android Wear-based devices.

Meanwhile other wearable device categories, such as fitness bands and smart glasses, will only manage to find niche audiences-- and as such fitness band market share will drop from 36% in 2014 to 20% in 2019, even if there should be some blurring between fitness bands and smartwatches.

BI points out some factors will continue to hamper wearable device adoption. These include small screen size, clunky style, limited battery life and a lack of adoption-driving "killer app," as well as smartwatch requiring more robust, if not standalone, functionality before really hitting the mainstream.

Go Smartwatches are the Breakout Category that Will Finally Ignite the Wearable Computing Market (Business Insider)