Global shipments of wearable devices are expected to more than double this year, to 76.1 million units from 28.9 million in 2014, according to the latest forecast IDC. The market researcher expects wearable device shipments to grow at a five-year compound annual rate (CAGR) of 22.9 percent to 173.4 million units in 2019.
IDC distinguishes between ‘smart’ wearables and basic wearables. The latter includes more simple devices such as fitness trackers, which today account for about two-thirds of the market. Driven by advancements in user interfaces and features, smart wearables will surpass the lower priced, less functional basic wearable category in 2018, IDC expects. Smart wearables will quickly move from a smartphone accessory primarily focused on notifications to a more advanced wearable computer capable of doing more processing on its own, the market researcher said.