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Led by connected watches, wearable shipments to double by 2021

The gobal wearables market is expected to double over the next four years, as connected watches, hearables and smart clothes gain more traction.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

International Data Corporation’s (IDC’s) latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, says worldwide wearable tech shipments will increase to 222.3 million in 2021, from their current level of 132.1 million. This equates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.4%.

The increase will be driven mainly by smart watches, hybrid watches and new product categories. Basic fitness bands, which drove much of the growth until this year, are expected to remain at current levels.

“The move from wristbands to watches introduces additional revenue opportunities for vendors and distributors as average selling prices are expected to rise,” said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.

“However, the struggle to move beyond health and fitness persists and convincing consumers to spend more for utility that may not be immediately obvious will be a challenge. This is where fashion-forward brands have a chance to shine as their customer base doesn’t tend to prioritize features.”

The chart below from IDC shows the changes it expects. Wristband market share is expected to drop to 21.5% from nearly 40%, while combined basic (hybrid) and smart watch share will jump from 54.3% to more than two-thirds. The more exotic categories such as smart clothing and earware are also expected to post gains, albeit from a lower base.

led by connected watches wearable shipments to double by 2021 2 1024x761 - Led by connected watches, wearable shipments to double by 2021

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