Wednesday, 03 February 2016 12:38

Gartner tips respectable growth for wearables


Research firm Gartner predicts 18.4% growth in the wearables market in 2016, and a further 17.5% in 2017.

Gartner forecasts worldwide sales of wearable electronic devices will reach 274.6 million this year, up 18.4% from 2015's 232.0 million units. That's a US$28.7 billion market.

Bluetooth headsets accounted for half of the 2015 market by volume, and are only expected to grow by 10% this year.

Not surprisingly, Gartner says the real action is in smartwatches.

"From 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will have 48&% growth largely due to Apple popularising wearables as a lifestyle trend," said research director Angela McIntyre.

"Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion.

"Though the sales of smartwatches are the one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption will remain much below sales of smartphones.

"For example, in 2016 more than 374 million smartphones will sell in mature market countries and in large urban areas of emerging market countries, for example, in Hong Kong and Singapore."

Fitness wearables - wristbands, smart garments, chest straps, sports watches and so on - continue to increase in popularity, although chest strap sales volumes are predicted to peak this year at 13.02 million units, dropping to 7.99 million in 2017.

"Of all the fitness wearables, sports watches will be the one product category to maintain its average retail price over the next several years," said McIntyre. "Continued advances in sensors and analytics for sports watches will bring new capabilities that bolster average retail prices."

"Race runners, cyclists and divers will choose sports watches over smartwatches because the user interface, capabilities and durability are tailored to the needs of an athlete in their sport," she added.

And there's the thing. Wearables have to do their job well and be convenient to use if they are to achieve mass adoption.

Among the other subcategories, 2016 will see head-mounted displays (HMDs) move towards mainstream adoption among consumers and enterprises, Gartner predicts.

"New virtual reality HMDs for consumers, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens are expected to be available along with video games and entertainment content as well as business applications critical for their success," said research director Brian Blau.

"Film producers and sports leagues will augment their traditional content through HMDs to enhance their customer experiences by creating interactive attractions, movies, and sporting events that make the content more personal and meaningful."

Looking further ahead, Garner predicts 26% of HMDs will be designed for business use by 2018, and used for tasks such as equipment repair, inspections and maintenance.

Forecast for Wearable Devices Worldwide (Millions of Units)

Device 2015 2016 2017
Smartwatch 30.32 50.40 66.71
Head-mounted display 0.14 1.43 6.31
Body-worn camera 0.05 0.17 1.05
Bluetooth headset 116.32 128.50 139.23
Wristband 30.15 34.97 44.10
Smart garment 0.06 1.01 5.30
Chest strap 12.88 13.02 7.99
Sports watch 21.02 23.98 26.92
Other fitness monitor 21.07 21.11 25.08
Total 232.01 274.59 322.69

Source: Gartner (January 2016)

The reports 'Forecast: Wearable Electronic Devices, Worldwide, 2016' and 'Market Trends: Wristbands, Worldwide, 2015' are available to Gartner clients.

Please join our community here and become a VIP.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here
JOIN our iTWireTV our YouTube Community here


It's all about Webinars.

Marketing budgets are now focused on Webinars combined with Lead Generation.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 3 to 4 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial. Plus a video interview of the key speaker on iTWire TV which will be used in Promotional Posts on the iTWire Home Page.

Now we are coming out of Lockdown iTWire will be focussed to assisting with your webinatrs and campaigns and assassistance via part payments and extended terms, a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs. We can also create your adverts and written content plus coordinate your video interview.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you. Please click the button below.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous