Sales of wearables to jump, as Android starts to catch up to Apple

Smartwatches will make up a quarter of wearable shipments this year, growing to a third by 2020

Makers of wearable computing devices will ship 110 million products in 2016, a big increase from 2015, with Android Wear smartwatches starting to catch up to Apple watchOS devices, IDC predicted.

The number of wearable devices shipped during the year should grow by more than 38 percent from 2015, IDC said Thursday. Smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Android Wear often "capture the spotlight," but other wearable devices make up most of the market, Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, said in a statement.

Shipments of smartwatches running Android Wear will grow by an average of 48 percent a year between 2016 and 2020, IDC predicted. Smartwatches using Apple's watchOS will also grow, but only by 22 percent a year, the analyst firm said.

By 2020, Apple will hold a 37.6 market share in smartwatch OSes, and Android Wear a 35 percent share, IDC said.

Fitness trackers now make up a big chunk of wearable sales. Fitness tracker maker Fitbit had nearly 30 percent of the global wearable market share at the end of 2015.

Smartwatches will, however, grow to about a third of the wearable devices shipped in 2020, Ubrani said. One area for potential growth is products from traditional watch makers that include fitness or sleep tracking functionality, he added.

There is "plenty of room for simpler devices" that appeal to people who aren't technophiles, Ubrani said.

The wearables market generate double-digit percentage growth through 2020, with an estimated 237.1 devices shipped that year, IDC predicted.

Watch and wristband wearable shipments will reach 100 million units in 2016, up from 72.2 million in 2015, IDC said. Other form factors, including clothing, eyewear, and so-called hearables, or smart earbuds, will reach 9.8 million units in 2016, it said.

Wearable vendors, led by Fitbit and Apple, shipped 27.4 million devices in the fourth quarter of 2015, up 126.9 percent from the last quarter of 2014, IDC reported last month.

IDC sees Apple's watchOS as maintaining its top market share among smartwatch OSes through 2020. About 14 million smartwatches running watchOS will ship in 2016, and 31 million in 2020, IDC predicted.

The Android Wear OS will nearly catch Apple, however, IDC predicted. About 6.1 million smartwatches running Android Wear will ship in 2016, and 28.8 million in 2020, IDC said.

The Real-Time Operating System, favored by some Chinese device makers, will ship on 8.3 million smartwatches in 2020, up from 1.4 million in 2016, IDC said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

5 things marketers need to do to get better in buy in when presenting

Presentations are a marketer’s best friend. They can be a concise, targeted and effective form of communication with the potential to make a real impact on your audience.

Emma Bannister

Founder and CEO, Presentation Studio

How to overcome negative habitual thinking

One of the greatest challenges facing senior leaders today is what’s going on in their own head.

Lisa Stephenson

Author, success coach, consultant

The purpose of purpose

Everyone knows the 4 P’s of marketing: Price, product, promotion and place. There is now a fifth ‘P’ in the marketing mix.

Thanks Nadia for sharing this blog. It has really useful and amazing information about Salesforce Commerce Cloud and digital engagement w...

Holly Smith

Adidas taps data and technology smarts to build personalised digital engagement with consumers

Read more

clearly someone who's jealous and only comments from the safety of being behind their keyboard

Peter Sibson

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

haters gonna hate

David Bentley

The purpose of purpose - Brand science - CMO Australia

Read more

Social Media is platform where people get connected to each other from the world and share their views and thoughts on any product. Socia...

Tejas Potfode

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

We can't overlook mobile. Each passing day people are on their phones more and more

This Is My South Bay

What the 5G revolution will do to mobile marketing

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in