April 11, 2014
The worldwide wearable computing market (commonly referred to as “wearables”) is finally expanding beyond early adopter status to more functional and stylish lifestyle accessories.
According to new research from International Data Corporation (IDC), wearables took a huge step forward over the past year and shipment volumes will exceed 19 million units in 2014, more than tripling last year’s sales. From there, the global market will swell to 111.9 million units in 2018, resulting in a CAGR of 78.4%.
Complex accessories (e.g., Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP, and Fitbit devices) will lead the wearables market through 2018 as users continue to embrace their simplicity and low price points, IDC said. These devices are designed to operate partially independent of any other device, but fully operate when connected with IP-capable devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or a PC.
“Complex accessories have succeeded in drawing much-needed interest and attention to a wearables market that has had some difficulty gaining traction,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager of mobile phones with IDC. “The increased buzz has prompted more vendors to announce their intentions to enter this market. Most importantly, end-users have warmed to their simplicity in terms of design and functionality, making their value easy to understand and use.”