Wearables Market On ‘Upward Trajectory,’ Says IDC

But 'smart wearables,' like the Apple Watch, will take the market lead in 2016, says the research firm.
Katie Kuehner-HebertJune 18, 2015

A report on the “upward trajectory” of the wearables market hit the wires Thursday, as Fitbit’s shares rocketed in their first day of trading.

According to the the International Data Corp.’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, up 173.3% from the 26.4 million units shipped in 2014. Shipment volumes are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 42.6% over the five-year forecast period, reaching 155.7 million units shipped in 2019.

“The demand for basic wearables, those that do not run third-party apps, has been absolutely astounding,” Jitesh Ubrani, IDC’s senior research analyst, worldwide mobile service trackers, said in a press release. “Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC expects this momentum will continue throughout 2015.”

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However, IDC expects that “smart wearables,” those capable of running third-party apps, will take the lead in 2016.

“Smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Micosoft’s Hololens are indicative of an upcoming change in computing, and the transition from basic to smart wearables opens up a slew of opportunities for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers,” Ubrani said.

Meanwhile, Fitbit’s shares jumped $10.37 to $30.37 early Thursday, a day after the San Francisco fitness tracking gear maker sold 22.4 million shares, raising $448 million in its IPO, according to the Associated Press. Its stockholders sold another 14.2 million shares, worth about $284 million.

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