160 million units of wearable computing devices are expected to be shipped in 2020, according to a research report by Future Market Insights (FMI). During the forecast period 2014-2020, the global wearable computing devices market is expected to expand at a CAGR of nearly 37%.
Greater awareness among consumers, coupled with decline in average selling price are expected to drive demand in the future. Further, launch of new, innovative wearables by well-known brands is expected to garner media coverage, resulting into higher awareness on the advantages of these devices.
“Wearable computing devices received a major boost earlier this year with the launch of Apple Watch. The kind of attention Apple Watch received has worked in larger interest of wearables and today, consumers are comparing the functionality of Apple Watch with other such wearables”, said FMI consultant.
Wearables are being increasingly used for tracking fitness and well-being, and according to FMI’s report, smart fitness wearables accounted for over 70% of total sales in 2013.
Wrist-worn wearables currently account for the majority share of all wearable computing devices. Wrist worn wearables include watches, bands, and bracelets; among these, demand is stronger for smart bands, however, with the launch of Apple Watch, smart watches are expected to gain traction.
The end-users of wearables can be broadly categorised into consumers and B2B/enterprise vertical. Demand for wearables from consumers represented over 50% of all sales in 2013. FMI expects demand from the consumer segment to remain strong in the future as well.
North America is the largest market for wearable computing devices, followed by Western Europe. Sales of wearables in North America were nearly one-third of global sales in 2013. However, it is the emerging markets in Asia Pacific that are expected to offer a plethora of opportunities to vendors during the forecast period.
“Although awareness about wearables is high in North America and Western Europe, Asia Pacific’s huge population makes it a lucrative market for vendors. Initially, we expect demand to be concentrated in metropolitan cities, but as awareness grows, sales will pick up in tier II cities as well”, added FMI Analyst.
Leading vendors in the wearable computing devices market are focusing on developing innovative products. Key players analysed by FMI in its report include Adidas AG, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. Apple Inc., Nike Inc., and Fitbit Inc.