Wearable devices, especially smartwatches, had a shy start since the likes of Samsung, Sony, and Pebble released their first smartwatches a few years ago. In 2014, only 6.8 million smartwatch units were sold, with Samsung raking up 1.2 million with their Gear lineup. Pebble came in second shipping 700,000 units, followed by Motorola, LG and others. Android Wear, the special Android version for wearables also didn’t get that of a traction in 2014, with only 720,000 units sold during the whole year, as Samsung doesn’t use Android Wear on their watches. In 2015, things got a lot better, with a plethora of amazing smartwatches coming from several manufacturers such as Huawei, Sony, Motorola, Asus, among others. Apple contributed significantly by selling more than 7 million units of their Apple Watch, by far the largest number in the industry, and smartwatch sales will reach around 21.3 million units this year.
According to a new report from International Data Corporation (IDC), the next few years will be very good for wearable makers, and by 2019 there will be around 214 million units shipped, a significant increase from this year, which should close around 70 million units sold overall. Smartwatches will represent a good portion of that. By 2016, the analysts expect 34.6 million units sold, an increase of around 62% year-over-year. By 2019, shipments of smartwatches will explode to 88.3 million units, a 42.8% five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Apple is set to dominate the market, nabbing more than 50% of shipments with around 45.2 million units of the Apple Watch. Android will come in second with 34.4 million units, and the remaining will stay with vendors that do not use Android Wear on their devices, such as Pebble. The report didn’t make it clear where Samsung will fit in these numbers since they don’t use Android Wear either, but their smartwatch sales have been growing since the launch of the Gear S2.
This report from IDC comes 3 months after the company released another market prediction. Back in September, the projection for wearable shipments by 2019 was 173.4 million units, and this new projection is a significant increase. That said, everything can change, but for now, the forecast is pretty good. One example of unexpected change is the fact that TAG Heuer released their first luxury Android Wear smartwatch, and the demand for it has been huge when even the company wasn’t waiting for it.