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Wearables market action is all in the wrist says market-scryer IDC

Tech specs aren't going to make it and the wearables market is smaller than PCs

The wearables market will be dominated by wrist action, according to market-watcher IDC, and will remain smaller than the PC market.

The firm today predicted that 2015 will see 45.7 million wearables shipped, up from 2014's 19.6 million units. By 2019, total shipment volumes are forecast to reach 126.1 million units. Devices worn on the wrist will dominate the market for the foreseeable future, as the table below demonstrates.

Worldwide Wearable Device Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth by Product, 2014-2019 (Units in Millions)

Product Category

2014 Shipment Volumes

2014 Market Share

2015 Shipment Volumes*

2015 Market Share*

2019 Shipment Volumes*

2019 Market Share*

Wristwear

17.7

90.4%

40.7

89.2%

101.4

80.4%

Modular

1.6

8.3%

2.6

5.7%

6.7

5.3%

Clothing

0.0

0.1%

0.2

0.4%

5.6

4.5%

Eyewear

0.1

0.3%

1.0

2.2%

4.5

3.5%

Earwear

0.0

0.0%

0.1

0.1%

0.6

0.5%

Other

0.2

0.9%

1.1

2.4%

7.3

5.8%

TOTAL

19.6

100.0%

45.7

100.0%

126.1

100.0%

The "modular" devices to which the table refers "can be worn on any part of the body with a clip or a strap" and will thrive because they are cheap. Connected clothes will become popular, the firm feels, but eyewear is considered "a smaller category" that will "first catch on among enterprise users within select vertical markets."

At a predicted 200,000 sales in 2015, tech specs will therefore be a very small market indeed given the overall prediction for 45m sales. To put that number in perspective, IDC thinks that this year 293m PCs will exit factory doors worldwide and another 291.4m will do so in 2019. That's more than double the number of wearables predicted to sell in the same year. That's not an apples to apples comparison (as opposed to an Apples to Apples comparison) because wearables need a companion device, but as numerous feats of foresight suggest those companions will be smartmobes, not PCs. ®

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