Wearable tech market far from worn out

Doug Woodburn
clock • 2 min read

Smartwatch sales predicted to double by 2021, according to analyst CCS Insight

Despite recent questions over whether wearable tech has had its day, one analyst has forecast that smartwatch sales will double over the next four years.

Smartwatch shipments will grow from 43 million in 2017 to 86 million in 2021, according to CCS Insight, which also noted that there is "currently an air of cautious optimism" among manufacturers in this space.

This is despite another analyst, IDC, recently saying that the smartwatch market is experiencing "growing pains" after Q3 sales more than halved to 2.7 million. Market trailblazer Apple was among the worst impacted as its shipments slumped from 3.9 million to 1.1 million, IDC said.

Apple and Samsung have taken note from the recent success of fitness watches from the likes of Garmin, TomTom, Polar and Suunto, which are enjoying steady growth, George Jijiashvili, wearables analyst at CCS Insight, said.

"It's clear that companies like Apple and Samsung have recognised the success of performance fitness watches and have implemented more and more fitness features into their own smartwatches to broaden their appeal," he said.

"There's currently an air of cautious optimism among smartwatch makers, especially as sales of fitness bands appear to have stalled".

The biggest smartwatch segment in volume terms, however, are models that enable parents to track their children, which Jijiashvili said is currently primarily a Chinese phenomenon.

"We've witnessed explosive growth in the kids watch segment in China and estimate that 16 million units were sold in 2016 alone," he said. "Companies such as BBK, Huawei, LeEco, ZTE and others have shipped significant numbers, and we expect growth to continue, with shipments rising to over 25 million by 2021."

Nine per cent of full-touch smartwatches will be cellular-enabled in 2017, growing to 12 per cent by 2021, CCS Insight predicted, adding that it expects Apple to release a cellular-enabled version of the Apple Watch in 2017.

You may also like
Semiconductor market will bounce back in 2024, says IDC

Research

Market drivers include AI, high-performance computing and stable smartphone and PC sales

clock 21 December 2023 • 2 min read
Public cloud services revenue skyrockets nearly 20 per cent in H1 2023

Research

New IDC figures show global public cloud services revenue jumped 19.1 per cent in the first half of 2023

clock 12 December 2023 • 2 min read
Semiconductor growth returns, market outlook upgraded - IDC

Research

IDC raises 2023-2024 semiconductor revenue forecasts as inventory corrections wane and AI demand grows

clock 17 November 2023 • 3 min read

Sign up to our newsletter

The best news, stories, features and photos from the day in one perfectly formed email.

More on Technology and Trends

New CEO Matt Yorke set to lead The Channel Company into the GenAI era

New CEO Matt Yorke set to lead The Channel Company into the GenAI era

“At The Channel Company, we are going to take a very strong position on Gen AI and its implications,” said incoming Channel Company CEO Matt Yorke. “We will really lean into that role with our domain expertise, end-user direct customer relationships, our channel expertise and content.”

Steven Burke
clock 11 January 2024 • 5 min read
Industry Voice: The Relationship Between Diversity and Artificial Intelligence

Industry Voice: The Relationship Between Diversity and Artificial Intelligence

Tenable
clock 06 October 2023 • 3 min read
Industry Voice: Over four decades of Exertis - a story of growth and innovation in technology distribution

Industry Voice: Over four decades of Exertis - a story of growth and innovation in technology distribution

Exertis
clock 29 September 2023 • 3 min read

Highlights

Staff & Salaries 2022

Staff & Salaries 2022

A snapshot of pay and headcount trends in the UK channel

Doug Woodburn
clock 09 March 2022 • 1 min read
Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Stephen Fenby talks to CRN after Midwich’s 2021 results in which profitability exceeded pre-pandemic levels

Josh Budd
clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read
4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

IBM and Microsoft are among a number of vendors which have also announced that they will halt sales in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read