The smartwatch space is expected to move the needle on the wearable space over the next five years according to a new report from IDC. IDC forecasts that worldwide wearable shipments will reach 173.4 Million by 2019 mainly propelled by what they call the "smart wearable category" which includes smartwatches which have the ability to run third-party apps.
"Smart wearables only account for about a third of the total market today while basic wearables, led by fitness trackers, account for the rest," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers on the IDC website. "Driven by advancements in user interface (UI) and features, smart wearables are on track to surpass the lower priced, less functional basic wearable category in 2018. Smart wearables will quickly move from a smartphone accessory primarily focused on notifications to a more advanced wearable computer capable of doing more processing on its own."
Apple Watch is expected to lead the charge in the smart wearable space. IDC predicts that Apple will end up with over 53% of the smart wearable marketshare by end of this year and will continue to dominate through to 2019 with over 47%. But IDC is bullish on the growth of Android Wear which they see jump from a 17.4% piece of the pie in 2015 to 38.4% in 2019. Overall the smartwatch space is expected to grow from 23.8 million this year to over 85 million in 2019. Interestingly enough, IDC believes that RTOS, which its rumored HTC will begin using for its smartwatches, will be the third leg in the smartwatch race by 2019, beating out both Pebble and Tizen.
This year IDC forecasts the worldwide wearable market will reach 28.9 million units shipped which is a significant leap of 163.6% up from the 28.9 million shipped in 2014.