IDC released a new wearables market forecast focused on smartwatches.
Research firm IDC forecasts the the worldwide wearable device market will reach a total of 111.1 million units shipped in 2016, up 44.4% from the 80 million units expected to ship shipped in 2015.
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By 2019, total wearables shipments will reach 214.6 million units.
"The most common type of wearables today are fairly basic, like fitness trackers, but over the next few years we expect a proliferation of form factors and device types," said Jitesh Ubrani , Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "Smarter clothing, eyewear, and even hearables (ear-worn devices) are all in their early stages of mass adoption. Though at present these may not be significantly smarter than their analog counterparts, the next generation of wearables are on track to offer vastly improved experiences and perhaps even augment human abilities."
Smartwatches will reach 34.3 million units shipped in 2016, up from the 21.3 million units expected to ship in 2015. By 2019 total shipments will reach 88.3 million units according to IDC's estimates.
The Apple Watch will lead the smartwatch market throughout 2019. IDC sees the loyal fanbase of Apple product owners and a rapidly growing application selection, including both native apps and Watch-designed apps as reason for the growth drivers.
Android/Android Wear will be a distant second behind watchOS even as its vendor list grows to include technology companies (ASUS, Huawei, LG, Motorola, and Sony) and traditional watchmakers (Fossil and Tag Heuer).
Samsung's new Tizen OS is the dark horse of the smartwatch market and poses a threat to Android Wear, including compatibility with most flagship Android smartphones and an application selection rivaling Android Wear. Moreover, with Samsung, Tizen has benefited from technology developments including a QWERTY keyboard on a smartwatch screen, cellular connectivity, and new user interfaces. It's a combination that helps Tizen stand out, but not enough to keep up with AndroidWear and watchOS.
IDC says that Apple will ship 13 million Apple Watches in 2015, which results in a 61% market share. By 2019 Apple is forecasted to ship 45.2 million units mantains a very healthy 51.1% market share.
Apple is expected to release the Apple Watch 2 in Spring of 2016. The rumored improvements include video camera for FaceTime, better battery, sleep tracker and health sensors.
In 2019 Apple would release the Apple Watch 5. How will the fifth generation of the Apple Watch look like that is forecasted to sell over 45 million times? The Apple Watch 5 could be a super thin flexible OLED screen wrapping around your wrist with integrated 5G communications and Augmented Reality headset support.
It could also be possible that smartwatches go away again and get replaced by augmented reality devices such as Microsoft's HoloLens.