The worldwide wearables market is forecast to ship 124.9 million units by the end of 2018, up 8.2% from the prior year. And Apple will continue to dominate with the Apple Watch, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
The tech giant has shipped 20.2 million smartwatches in 2018 for 16.2% of the wearables market. IDC expects the market share to grow to 17.3% in 2022 with 34.5 million units shipped.
Although this growth is slightly lower than the 10.3% growth experienced in 2017, the market is expected to return to double-digit growth from 2019 until 2022 as smartwatches and other form factors grow in popularity.
”The shift in consumer preferences towards smartwatches has been in full swing these past few quarters and we expect that to continue in the coming years,” says Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
The research group says smartwatches will evolve to encompass far more features and functionalities than they have today. Health and fitness is a strong start, but when you include cellular connectivity, integration with other Internet of Things (IoT) devices and systems, and how smartwatches can enable greater efficiencies, the smartwatch market is heading for steady growth in the years to come, notes IDC.
Smartwatches will gain an increasing amount of market share over the course of the forecast, accounting for 44.6% of all wearables shipped by the end of 2022. IDC says Apple’s decision to include cellular connectivity on the latest Watch has helped bring some much-needed attention to the smartwatch category from telcos and, more importantly, it has helped with consumer acceptance.
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