IDC Reports Q4 Resurgence For Wearables
According to new data out of IDC, the wearables market is finally on-course for a bounceback in 2017.
Data out of IDC says that the market for wearable tech reached a global all-time high with shipments of 33.9 million units in the fourth quarter of 2016.
This represents a 16.9% growth on the previous year and a total of 102.4 million devices shipped.
“Like any technology market, the wearables market is changing,” says IDC’s Ramon Llamas.
He says “basic wearables started out as single-purpose devices tracking footsteps and are morphing into multi-purpose wearable devices, fusing together multiple health and fitness capabilities and smartphone notifications. It’s enough to blur the lines against most smart wearables, to the point where first generation smartwatches are no better than most fitness trackers.
“Meanwhile, smart wearables are also evolving,” Llamas continued.
“Health and fitness remains a major focus, but once these devices become connected to a cellular network, expect unique applications and communications capabilities to become available. This will also solve another key issue: freeing the device from the smartphone, creating a standalone experience.”
IDC’s latest report indicates that while Fitbit is still the dominant player in the market, it experienced its largest decline ever at the hands of Chinese player Xiaomi and global tech giant Apple.
“With the entrance of multiple new vendors with strengths in different industries, the wearables market is expected to maintain a positive outlook, though much of this growth is coming from vendor push rather than consumer demand,” said senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers Jitesh Ubrani.
According to Ubrani, “As the technology disappears into the background, hybrid watches and other fashion accessories with fitness tracking are starting to gain traction. This presents an opportunity to sell multiple wearables to a single consumer under the guise of ‘fashion.’ But more importantly, it helps build an ecosystem and helps vendors provide consumers with actionable insights thanks to the large amounts of data collected behind the scenes.”