The worldwide wearables market is adjusting as smartwatches continue to come to the forefront. In the coming years, smartwatches will encompass more features and functionalities.
How the watch industry has changed! As a show of its strength and popularity, Apple Watch has taken the crown, not just among smartwatches, but outselling the entire Swiss watch industry in Q4. Now, that’s quite an accomplishment!
Enterprise wearable shipment will reach over 118 million in 2022, increasing from just over 38 million in 2017, a CAGR of 25 percent, according to ABI Research.
The enterprise wearables market is continuing to see stronger growth than the consumer market, which has shipment numbers increasing at a lower CAGR of 13 percent.
Healthcare devices, wearable cameras, and wearable scanners will account for 73 percent of enterprise wearable shipments in 2022. Innovative companies are leading the charge, such as Royole with flexible components, Waverly with real-time translation, and Axon (previously Taser) with wearable cameras.
As the enterprise wearable camera market continues to grow through law enforcement, field services and first responder applications due to their ability to collect evidence and record interactions, so do privacy and data protection concerns, according to ABI Research.
The research firm forecasts enterprise wearable camera shipment to reach nearly 24 million in 2022.
“Despite clear advantages to the usage of this technology, enterprises fear attacks from cybercriminals and data theft. With massive data leaks often reaching mainstream news, public concern is rising over the security of wearable camera recordings, including who has access to such footage and for how long,” said Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst of ABI Research.
One of the hottest products recently is experiencing growing pains. Smartwatch shipment slid 51.6 percent to 2.7 million units in Q3 compared to the same period last year, according to IDC.
Although the decline is significant, it is worth noting that Q3 was the first time Apple’s Watch had widespread retail availability after a limited online launch. Meanwhile, the second generation Apple Watch was only available in the last two weeks of Q3.
“The sharp decline in smartwatch shipment volumes reflects the way platforms and vendors are realigning. Apple revealed a new look and feel to watchOS that did not arrive until the launch of the second generation watch at the end of September. Google’s decision to hold back Android Wear 2.0 has repercussions for its OEM partners as to whether to launch devices before or after the holidays. Samsung’s Gear S3, announced at IFA in September, has yet to be released. Collectively, this left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers,” said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager of IDC’s Wearables team.
With vendors are rolling out new wearable devices at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it is not surprising that the market is set to boom.
In 2014, GfK noted that 13.5 million health and fitness trackers were sold globally compared to 4.1 million smartwatches. This year, that combined number is expected to jump 51.2 million units in 2015.
Last year, actual sales of health and fitness trackers (HFT) easily outstripped smartwatches. This was driven, in part, by the significantly lower average sales price of HFT, making these devices more affordable than full-feature smartwatches.
Wearable bands are all the rage with many new models announced and expected to be available in the coming months.
In Q3, nearly five million wearable bands were shipped — an increase of 37 percent quarter on quarter, according to Canalys.
Motorola Mobility’s Moto 360 is the most successful among Android Wear devices, accounting for over 15 percent of the smart band market. Despite being supply-constrained, its appealing design helped it to easily outship other Android Wear products.
Wearable electronic devices for fitness shipments are forecast to reach 68.1 million units in 2015, down from 70 million units in 2014, according to Gartner. This temporary dip in sales will be driven by an overlap in functionality between smart wristbands, other wearable fitness monitors and smartwatches.
However, the market for smart wristbands and other fitness monitors will rebound in 2016 because of versatile designs and models with lower-cost displays.
“Fitness wearables are used for tracking health, which goes hand-in-hand with fitness and wellness. Consumers will be able to integrate the data from most wearables into a single account where their data can be analysed using cognizant computing to provide useful insights to wearers.,” said Angela McIntyre, Research Director of Gartner.
Microsoft is the latest to dive into the wearables market with Microsoft Band, which works with Windows Phone 8.1, Android and iOS.
It can track heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality, as well as enable email previews and calendar alerts. Cortana, an intelligent personal assistant on Windows Phone 8.1 and Microsoft Band, can take notes, set reminders, provide driving directions, and keep wearers abreast of traffic, sports, stocks, and weather.
For now, the US$199 band is only available in the US. But, don’t get your hopes up yet even if you have contacts in the US because the product is currently out of stock.
Wearable technologies are not only the rage among consumers and health fanatics but are also set to shape the way governments work and interact with the public.
According to IDC Government Insights, wearables will boost Smart Mobile Government (Smart mGovt) projects and consequently, pave the way for public sector Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystems.
Its “Designing Tomorrow’s Smart mGovernment Landscapes Enabled by the Growth of Wearables and the Internet of Things” report has identified the IoT, context, instantaneous reach, privacy, security, technology readiness, and wearables as the seven key ingredients for Smart mGovt adoption.
A wrist accessory with a silicon strap has become the latest fashion statement and a must-have for the sporty. We’re talking about the fitness band, which helps to keep track of distance covered, calories burnt and sleep among other things.
According to Canalys, the global wearable band market grew an astonishing 684 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2013.
“Fitbit and Jawbone have very successfully grown and strengthened their relationships with channel partners internationally to grow global shipment volumes. They took first and second place respectively in the basic wearable band market in the first half 2014,’ said Chris Jones, Vice President and Principal Analyst of Canalys.
Smartphone components are being used in smartwatches in lieu of optimised smartwatch components, even when claimed otherwise, according to ABI Research.
Teardowns of a number of devices found that nobody has an optimal wearable peripheral solution yet. The Samsung Galaxy Gear and Z-watch use application processors originally targeted for smartphone/tablets and the uWatch goes a step further by using a full blown GPRS SOC, MediaTek MT6260, but only uses the integrated BT. Other watches such as the Sony series and Pebble use discrete solutions. The end result is less than optimal battery life and unnecessary cost/size that get passed on to the consumer.
“Our findings show the chipset suppliers are playing the ‘wait and see’ game before making investments into wearable peripherals. Of the solutions available the oversized application processors draw too much current and cost far too much. Discrete solutions tend to be physically large and also a little higher cost than necessary. The closest match is the SOCs with embedded BT whichcan be both power and size efficient withthe only drawback being slight cost impact. Once the market takes off expect to see a number of truly optimal solutions available,” said Jim Mielke, Vice President of Engineering at ABI Research.
Lower-priced devices are driving the growth of worldwide combined shipments of PCs, tablets and mobile phones in 2013, according to Gartner. The global devices market is expected to hit 2.32 billion units, a 4.5 percent increase from 2012.
Worldwide shipments of traditional PCs (desk-based and notebook) are forecast to total 303 million units in 2013, an 11.2 percent decline from 2012, and the PC market, including ultramobiles, is forecast to drop 8.4 percent. Mobile phone shipments are projected to grow 3.7 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.
Tablet shipments are expected to grow 42.7 percent this year, with shipments reaching 184 million units. Premium tablets are faced with continued price decline in the 7-inch form factor as a larger number of consumers prefer smaller form factors when it comes to content consumption.
Google Glass and Samsung Gear are two of the most talked about developments in wearable devices. And many more are set to follow in their footsteps.
Canalys believes that consumerisation of IT is paving the way for even bigger transitions that will rock the IT industry. Smaller app-enabled devices (‘appcessories’) enable customers and employees to do more on the move. Adoption of wearables, such as wristbands, eyewear and sensors in clothing, will lead to a new era in which location, movement, fitness, health and potentially visual focus and interest points are tracked. The data generated by these devices creates possibilities for brands to understand, segment, target and service customers. Through functional apps, buyers and sellers are also finding new ways to interact.
‘Apps have emerged as the accelerator of current industry transitions. In place of large code bases and years of development, we now have the possibility of turning out multi-platform apps in weeks, or even days,’ said Tim Shepherd, Senior Analyst of Canalys. ‘By focusing on user experience, app developers have revolutionized how new functionality is brought to market and how behavior and activity are measured. Enterprise customers have started to exploit this capability across several disciplines, including product design, marketing, customer services and operations, and buying points are changing as a result.’