|7 September 2016|

The worldwide wearables market is growing thanks to the increase in sales from basic devices that do not support third party applications, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

The tracker shows that shipments of wearable devices reached 22.5 million in the second quarter of 2016, with the overall market for wearable devices growing by 26.1% year over year.

“Fitness is the low-hanging fruit for wearables,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “However, the market is evolving and we’re starting to see consumers adopt new functionality, such as communication and mobile payments, while enterprises warm to wearables’ productivity potential.”

Basic wearables – devices that do not support third party applications – far outshone smart wearables, devices that do.

“Basic wearables, which include most fitness trackers, have benefited from a combination of factors: a clear value proposition for end-users, an abundant selection of devices from multiple vendors, and affordable price points,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Wearables. “Consequently, basic wearables accounted for 82.8% of all wearable devices shipped during the quarter, and more vendors continue to enter this space. The danger, however, is that most devices end up being copycats of others, making it increasingly difficult to differentiate themselves in a crowded market.

“Smart wearables, meanwhile, are still struggling to find their place in the market,” added Llamas. “There is plenty of curiosity about what smart wearables – particularly smartwatches – can do, but they have yet to convince users that they are a must-have item. The good news is that smart wearables are still in their initial stages and vendors are slowly making strides to improve them.”