Sales of Wearables Expected to Top 72 Million in 2015
Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC projects this momentum will continue throughout 2015.The market for wearable devices continued its upward trajectory in the first quarter of 2015, with IT research firm IDC projecting that 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, up a robust 173.3 percent from the 26.4 million units shipped in 2014. Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and the report projects this momentum will continue throughout 2015. "Low-end, or for us, basic, wearables typically bring a simple and straightforward value proposition to users, and for the most part, users get it. Just look at the success of health and fitness activity trackers," Ramon Llamas, research manager for wearables and mobile phones at IDC, told eWEEK. "The problem is that these brands struggle with staying power, and oftentimes find themselves heading to a drawer permanently. Still, this is just starting to take off and more markets are coming online with greater end-user interest." As Ramon noted, smart wearables, or those capable of running third- party apps, are expected to take the lead in 2016, and he said he expects to see an evolution in software as the overall market evolves.
"Software has to move beyond health and fitness, easily," Ramon said. "But the market is still looking for the right applications. I can see things like mobile payments and notifications, but those, I believe, won’t be the silver bullet. If anything, let’s see more health and fitness applications, like body temperature, allergy monitoring, UV radiation, and so on."