Carriers To Earn $12 Billion From Wearables By 2021: Report

Wireless carriers may earn as much as $12 billion from wearables over the next three and a half years, a new report authored by SNS Telecom & IT indicates. The market's compound annual growth rate is hence estimated to amount to 36-percent over the four-year period ending with 2021 in terms of revenue, whereas shipments are predicted to rise by 22-percent annually. By 2022, the wearable industry will be generating $45 billion worth of revenue with some 250 million shipments every year, as per the same report.

SNS doesn't expect major changes with regard to top original equipment manufacturers, claiming that Samsung, Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Garmin will still be leading the segment four years from now and account for around 55-percent of the global market combined. Smartwatches, fitness trackers, Internet-enabled glasses and similar offerings should also benefit from the 5G revolution, especially as an increasing number of such offerings is now launching with cellular capabilities, the researchers believe. Even outside of the scope of 5G New Radio, NB-IoT and eMTC are both likely to either fuel the adoption of wearables or have their adoption fueled by wearables in the coming years, the study suggests. Smartwatches and other connected gadgets are also likely to start embracing popular smartphone solutions such as VoLTE on a significant scale in the near future.

The new research is just the latest vote of confidence for an industry that's been steadily growing its shipments but was repeatedly criticized for a lack of innovation in recent years, especially in the context of smartwatches as some of the latest such products are still relatively similar to their 2016 predecessors as far as processing power is concerned. That state of affairs should change this fall after Qualcomm debuts its next wearable chip, rumored to be advertised as the Snapdragon Wear 3100. Google is said to be one of the first adopters of the silicon, with the Mountain View-based tech giant allegedly having three Pixel-branded smartwatches in the works, all of which are meant to be introduced this fall, most likely in early October alongside the Pixel 3-series Android flagships.

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