Stamford, Connecticut-based market research and advisory firm, Gartner, has come out with a report on how it sees the fledgling wearables market evolve in the recent future. According to the report released by the company early on Wednesday, the overall wearable market is expected to expand by about 18.4 percent this year. While 232 million smart wearable devices were sold last year, Gartner’s research team expects the number to go up to 274.6 million this year. The projection for next year seems to be even more promising, seeing as the firm says that it expects sales to go up by almost fifty percent compared to last year, thereby crossing 300 million in 2017. To be precise, Gartner predicts that smart wearable sales will hit 322.69 million next year, which will indeed be something to look forward to.
The company has also broken down the wearables market into various sectors, including, but not limited to, smartwatches, head-mounted displays, wristbands, smart garments, and the like. Curiously, though, ‘Sports Watches’ have been treated as an entirely different category, and not as an offshoot of the smartwatch sector for some reason. As per a written statement released by the company’s research director, Ms. Angela McIntyre, growing adoption of Apple’s smart wearables as a “lifestyle trend” might have a lot to do with how the market evolves over the next couple of years. She also says that, “Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion. Though the sales of smartwatches are the one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption will remain much below sales of smartphones”.
The report also seems to indicate that smart garments (think Project Jacquard) may take off next year onwards, although, the pace of adoption will continue to lag the more established wearable categories by a country mile. While only around 60,000 smart garments were sold last year, as many as 5.3 million are expected to be bought by customers in 2017, if the report from Gartner is to be believed. While smartwatch sales are expected to hit the 50 million mark this year, the company says that it doesn’t expect prices of such devices to go down any time soon. Of course, it remains to be seen how much of these predictions will hold true in the end, seeing as at the start of this decade, many of the analysts had almost unanimously backed the erstwhile Windows Phone (now Windows Mobile) and BB OS to displace Android as the two most popular mobile platforms alongside iOS.