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Smartwatch shipments ‘headed for 20.1 million units by 2016’

Smartwatch shipments ‘headed for 20.1 million units by 2016’

Global smartwatch shipment is expected to reach 20.1 million units at the end of 2016, a new forecast by  the International Data Corporation (IDC) has revealed.

According to IDC worldwide quarterly wearable device tracker, smartwatch shipment in 2016 will see an increase of 3.9% from the 19.4 million units shipped in 2015.

However, it says new smartwatch shipments are expected to see only modest growth for the rest of 2016 due to late-in-the-year and iterative product releases.

IDC expects total smart wearable volumes to reach 21.5 million units shipped in 2016. Smart wearable those that can run third party applications, which also includes devices such as smart glasses and certain wristbands. By volume, smartwatches account for the largest part of the category, and are expected to reach a total value of $17.8 billion dollars in 2020.

In comparison with the traditional wearables, that is, basic wearable devices that do not run third party applications, IDC says by the end of 2016, total shipments of basic wearables will reach 80.7 million units, which is 78.9% market share.

Apple Smart Watch
Apple Smart Watch

IDC also expects that over the next few years, smartwatches will be having improved market shares with the introduction of certain features in the devices.

Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s wearables team says that “to date, smartwatches have remained in the realm of brand loyalists and tech cognoscenti, but we expect that to change over the next few years,”

“First, smartwatches will look and feel like traditional watches, appealing to those who put a premium and design and style. Second, once the smartwatches get cellular connectivity, they’ll disconnect from the smartphone, making them more useful.

Third, smartwatch applications will build on this cellular connection, and connect with other devices within the home and at work. Finally, smartwatch prices will come down, making them more affordable to a broader market”, he adds.


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