Smartwatches and other wearables such as fitness bracelets currently occupy a growing niche market. According to the analysts of the IDC (International Data Corporation), however, this is yet to change by 2020. In its latest projections, the IDC states that by 2020, some 50 million wearables could be traded in dealer and customer hands. However, for the time being, 2016 is expected to be moderate. This is also due to the fact that both the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Samsung Gear S3 appear relatively late in the year. In addition, Huawei, LG and Motorola have announced this year no more Smartwatches to publish.
For this year, the analysts expect 20.1 million smartwatches delivered. By 2015 it was still 19.4 million units, so the growth was only 3.9%. Under the term “Smartwatches” the IDC bundles only such clocks, which are also able to operate apps from third-party developers. Analog clocks with smart additional functions, for example, are eliminated. Rather, the payment drivers mean models like the Apple Watch Series 2, the Samsung Gear S3 or the Motorola Moro 360 (2016). As a further term, the IDC uses the “smart wearables”. This also means some fitness bracelets or analogue watches with additional functions. Then there are still base wearables, which means the IDC, for example, simple fitness bracelets like those of Fitbit or Garmins Vivofit. 2016, if the IDC is correct, approximately 80.7 million units of such simple wearables should be delivered.
The IDC, however, still places smartwatches in an area for very distinctive customers and tech enthusiasts. Contrary to previous expectations, the products have not yet arrived in the mainstream. But that is exactly what should be done by 2020 with more advanced generations. The driving forces could be their own mobile communications and designs, which are more similar to traditional wristwatches. Above all, however, user friendliness must be increased.
The Apple watchOS should dominate the market in the coming years. Nevertheless, it is assumed at the IDC that Android and Android Wear by 2020 will experience enormous growth. Samsung’s Tizen will probably be on place 3. However, the Garmin Connect IQ platform should also have its own solutions, such as the Garmin Connect IQ platform. Other proprietary operating systems, such as the Pebble OS and numerous Linux offshoots, once again assess the IDC with limited prospects for the future. In the long term, however, hobbyists could also have their own pleasure in this area.