The proliferation of smart, wearable devices like watches and fitness trackers will be one of the tech industry’s bright spots over the next few years, according to a new report.
Wearables shipments jumped almost 9% in 2018 to 125.3 million devices, according to research firm IDC. The market will grow an average of 11% annually to reach 189.9 million devices shipped in 2022.
Growing interest in increasingly sophisticated smartwatches is driving that segment - watches are forecast to reach 72.8 million units in 2018, well over half the total, with smartwatches accounting for roughly two thirds of the total volume.
Outside of smartwatches, hybrid watches and some basic kids' watches will also continue to ship in large volumes, although growth for these types of devices will remain relatively flat. Growth for the wristband category, which covers more basic devices, will remain muted, although they will act as a stepping stone into the wearables market for first-time buyers.
Earwear, accounting for less than two percent of the market in 2018, is on track to hit a 6.8 percent share in 2022, largely thanks to the disappearance of the traditional headphone jack on modern devices. Vendors are including biometric tracking into wireless headphones which will further help this category, IDC said.