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Wearables market to double by 2022, Apple Watch expected to fuel growth

CCS Insight expects the wearables market to almost double in value by 2022 to $27bn, as the Apple Watch continues to drive sales and interest in the category.

Essential reading: Top fitness trackers and health gadgets

The research outfit says shipments will increase to 233 million units in 2022 from 117 million this year. This growth will primarily be fueled by demand for smartwatches which are expected to account for 137 million shipments in four years time, up from 85 million. The outlook for fitness bands is not a rosy. They are expected to drop by 4 million during this period to 39 million.

Apple’s success is clearly helping the broader market. The Cupertino outfit recently came out with its Series 4 watch. This brings a slew of upgrades over its predecessor, including a bigger display, ECG sensor, fall detection, performance upgrades and more.

“The combination of Apple’s success with its Watch and the high engagement levels we’re seeing among smartwatch owners reflects the value people are now placing on these products,” said CCS Insight’s senior analyst for wearables, George Jijiashvili.

“It’s a step change from a few years ago, when we consistently saw high levels of abandonment from early smartwatch users, who quickly became disenchanted with initial products”.

But CSS Insight also has a positive outlook for Wear OS watches. It expects Fossil Group and premium watchmakers such as Louis Vuitton, Montblanc and TAG Heuer to continue to invest in the category.

“The Apple Watch has done well because it’s bought by iPhone owners,” added Jijiashvili.

“People with Android smartphones represent a far bigger market and we believe that conditions are right for the next wave of smartwatch adoption thanks to an ever-improving selection of smartwatches from fashion and consumer electronics brands hit the market.”

Replacement devices are also expected to drive sales in the coming years as are new product categories. One of these are hearables and biometric headphones. They are expected to account for 27 million shipments by 2022. Its a little known fact that earbuds, rather than watches, tend to be the most accurate heart-rate monitors, outperformed only by traditional chest straps. Although Apple hasn’t entered this market just yet, CSS insights says its only a matter of time before the company adds more functionality to its AirPods.

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