The Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches get most of the attention, but they’ll combine for just a quarter of all wearables shipped in 2016. A new report from the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts Apple’s watchOS and Google’s Android Wear smartwatch operating systems will grow to account for a third of all wearables shipped by 2020.
Worldwide shipments of wearable devices will hit 110 million by the end of 2016, up 38.2 percent from last year, according to the IDC. A growing number of vendors and rising consumer awareness and demand will drive double-digit growth through 2020, when 237.1 million wearable devices are expected to be shipped.
Smartwatches and wristbands will reach a combined 100 million units shipped this year, while other form factors (e.g., smart clothing, smart eyewear) will combine for 9.8 million units shipped. While non-wrist-bound form factors will open up new applications, smartwatches are still the name of the wearables game, according to the IDC.
“Although smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices capture the spotlight, they will only account for a quarter of all wearables in 2016 and will grow to about a third by 2020,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
In 2016, 14.0 million Apple Watches will be shipped around the world, good for nearly half of the market. Android Wear smartwatches will follow with 6.1 million units, or 21.4 percent of the market.
By 2020, 31.0 million Apple Watches will be shipped and 28.8 million Android Wear smartwatches will be shipped, according to the IDC. Overall, smartwatch shipments will have a 31 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 through 2020.
There are, of course, hurdles for the smartwatch market. For instance, interest in purchasing smartwatches seems to have plateaued: In 2016, 13 percent of consumers said they planned to buy one this year, up just 1 percentage point from 2015, according to a report from Accenture.
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