Smart watch market to grow to 71.5mn shipments by 2021, led by Apple

By Pouyan Broukhim

According to new research from the International Data Corporation (IDC), the smart watch market is expected to more than double by 2021.

“Led primarily by the Apple Watch”, the IDC predicts that shipments will increase from 31.6mn units in 2017 to 71.5mn units in 2021, with a forecast compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.7%.

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The contributing factors of this will include a wider adoption of cellular connectivity and a technology transition to more sophisticated watches that will be able to run apps, play games and communicate.

With capabilities similar to that of a smart phone or tablet and a more fashionable appearance, the IDC predicts that smart watches will likely come to replace wearables such as the Fitbit.

“The move from wristbands to watches introduces additional revenue opportunities for vendors and distributors as average selling prices are expected to rise,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.

“However, the struggle to move beyond health and fitness persists and convincing consumers to spend more for utility that may not be immediately obvious will be a challenge. This is where fashion-forward brands have a chance to shine as their customer base doesn't tend to prioritize.”

Within the report, the IDC also predicts that the overall wearable devices market will grow from 113.2mn shipments in 2017 to 222.3mn in 2021.

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