|23 February 2016|

The worldwide wearable device market is booming thanks to the growing popularity of fitness tracker, the Apple Watch, and other new innovations.

The International Data Corporation’s (IDCWorldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker has revealed that sales from vendors operating in this market is up 171.6% on 2014 figures.

“Triple-digit growth highlights growing interest in the wearables market from both end-users and vendors,” noted Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “It shows that wearables are not just for the technophiles and early adopters; wearables can exist and are welcome in the mass market. And since wearables have yet to fully penetrate the mass market, there is still plenty of room for growth in multiple vectors: new vendors, form factors, applications, and use cases. This will help propel the market further.

“What is warranted is continued innovation and development,” added Llamas. “The market can only get so far with ‘me too’ and ‘copycat’ wearable devices. End-users expect improvement from what they have now, and new applications to spur replacement and increased adoption. Historical data, like steps taken and calories burned, has been a very good start. Prescriptive data, like what else a user can do to live a healthier life, coupled with popular applications like social media, news, and navigation, will push wearables further, and attract more users.”

“Fashion and design will play an equally important role in increasing adoption,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Simply encrusting your watch with gold and jewels is not going to cut it. Rather forming partnerships with notable fashion icons, a route taken by Fitbit and Apple, is far more likely to succeed.

“It’s also worth noting that the wearables market isn’t just about smartwatches and fitness bands,” continued Ubrani. “Though the top 5 certainly dominate with wrist-worn devices, there’s been an immense amount of growth in other form factors like clothing, footwear, and eyewear – form factors that arguably require even more fashion sense than watches or bands.”