IDC: Worldwide wearables market to grow 173.3% in 2015 with 72.1 million units to be shipped

The wearables market maintained its upward trajectory in the first quarter of 2015 as new vendors, including Apple, prepared to enter the market. A new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker estimates that 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, up a strong 173.3% from the 26.4 million units shipped in 2014. Shipment volumes are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.6% over the five-year forecast period, reaching 155.7 million units shipped in 2019.

“The demand for basic wearables, those that do not run third party apps, has been absolutely astounding,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, in a statement. “Vendors like Fitbit and Xiaomi have helped propel the market with their sub-$100 bands, and IDC expects this momentum will continue throughout 2015.”

“We expect smart wearables, those capable of running third party apps, to take the lead in 2016,” added Ubrani. “Smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Micosoft’s Hololens are indicative of an upcoming change in computing, and the transition from basic to smart wearables opens up a slew of opportunities for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers.”

“Growth in the smart wearables market points to an emerging battleground among competing platforms,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Wearables. “Android Wear, Tizen, and watchOS are moving ahead with improved user interfaces, user experiences, and applications. These will raise the expectations of what a smart wearable can do, and each platform is vying for best-in-class status. We’re not there yet, but we’re seeing the building blocks of what is to come.”

Worldwide Wearable Device Shipments, Year-Over-Year Growth and CAGR by Product Category, 2014, 2015, and 2019 (Units in Millions)
IDC: Worldwide Wearable Device Shipments, Year-Over-Year Growth and CAGR by Product Category, 2014, 2015, and 2019
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, June 18, 2015
* Forecast figures.

Source: International Data Corporation

MacDailyNews Take: Puleeze. The Apple Watch wannabes aren’t “vying for best-in-class status.” Apple owns that designation hands down. The only question is when will the Apple Watch knockoffs appear and will their makers get sued?

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Sarah” and “Bill” for the heads up.]


  1. “Basic Wearables” will include biofeedback sensors both worn and implanted. This may be still too low. It is like the many two or four lane wide roads that the smart people believed was all they needed to build all over NJ, NY and the whole east coast here. Idiots! Backed up highways due to small thinkers.

    No vision … small count!

  2. ….. And where is the “other wearables” category that IDC and their ilk use to denigrate any of their sickstistical analysis?

    Utter rubbish, as always, projecting what they have absolutely no clue about!

  3. Until Apple publishes the sales of Apple Watch there is no way to come up with accurate numbers. I like how they include the both basic and smart together so it dilutes Apple sale from the beginning. That way they don’t have to back track history like they did the iPad when they started including “white box” tables. Things they did not consider tablets until Android and Windows tablets didn’t come close to their predictions. Their inclusion of Hololens, something not even on the market. It reminds me of when they said Windows phone would take over the market. I was not aware of a Tizen watch and Android Where has been a complete failure. Apple Watch had hundreds of apps day one and sold out in minutes. However they can’t tell a best-in-class.

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