The global wearables market will grow 133.4 percent to 45.7 million units in 2015 from 19.6 million units in 2014, said IDC.
New vendors, new devices, and end-user awareness will drive the wearables market in 2015. By 2019, shipment volumes will reach 126.1 million units, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 45.1 percent.
Smart wearables — Apple Watch, Motorola’s Moto 360, and Samsung’s Gear watches – will fuel the market.
Smart wearables will grow 510.9 percent to 25.7 million units in 2015 from 4.2 million units in 2014. Basic wearables, or those devices that do not run third party applications, will grow 30 percent to 20 million units in 2015 from 15.4 million units in 2014.
“The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight. Basic wearables, meanwhile, will not disappear. In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC’s Wearables team.
Wrist-worn wearables, including bands, bracelets, and watches, will account for more than 80 percent of all wearable device shipments throughout the forecast.
Behind wrist-worn products are modular wearable devices, or those devices that can be worn on any part of the body with a clip or a strap. Modular devices are traditionally much simpler to produce than other wearable devices and function well as use-specific devices.
Clothing is the third category and is expected to grow the fastest as companies embed items like shirts, socks, hats, and other products with computing power.
Eyewear is a smaller category. Earwear will comprise a small part of the overall market as earphones expand from audio to include health and fitness features.
“The price of these fitness bands have come down so significantly in some markets that smartphone OEMs are now bundling them with smartphones at little cost. Meanwhile, the market is quickly shifting toward higher-priced devices that offer greater functionality,” said Ryan Reith, program director with IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Device Trackers.