Global wearable device sales to grow 18% in 2016, says Gartner

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A research note from analyst house Gartner argues that sales of wearable electronic devices will bring in revenue of $28.7 billion (£20.1 billion) in 2016, with smartwatches generating $11.5 billion of the total. Global sales of wearable electronic devices are anticipated to see 18.4% year-on-year growth to 274.6 million units in 2016.

Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner, said: “From 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will have 48 percent growth largely due to Apple popularising wearables as a lifestyle trend. 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 smartphone,” McIntyre added. “For example, in 2016 more than 374 million smartphones will sell in mature market countries and in large urban areas of emerging market countries, for example, in Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Fitness wearables continue to create a stir among consumers, driven to an extent by US wellness programs. Fitness wearables include wristbands, smart garments, chest straps, sports watches and other fitness monitors.

McIntyre added: “Of all the fitness wearables, sports watches will be the one product category to maintain its average retail price over the next several years," said Ms. McIntyre. "Race runners, cyclists and divers will choose sports watches over smartwatches because the user interface, capabilities and durability are tailored to the needs of an athlete in their sport. Continued advances in sensors and analytics for sports watches will bring new capabilities that bolster average retail prices.”

 

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