IDC: Apple Watch will lead explosive wearables growth, but not necessarily forever
IFA 2015 was apparently, at least in Hayato Huseman’s eyes, all about the wearables. We glimpsed into the Samsung Gear S2, the Huawei Watch, the second-generation Moto 360 and quite a few others. This comes after a rather tepid introduction period for Android Wear as a platform and terrific, but not quite analysts’-expectations-terrific sales for the Apple Watch. With all that said, the people at research firm IDC think that timidity to buying a smartwatch might just burn off.
First of all, the growth in the general wearables market continues on with a forecast 76.1 million units to be shipped this year, up from 28.9 million units in 2014. IDC expects 173.4 unit shipments during the year of 2019. That growth will be enough to outpace sales of basic wearables (“dumbwatches”) by the end of 2018. According to a Research Manager at IDC, consumers are currently looking for more mature wearable products and will be happy to spread word about them.
Apple’s watchOS has 58.3 percent of current platform share while Android Wear comes in at 17.4 percent. Pebble OS takes 8.7 percent of this year’s market share, followed by 6.7 percent for Tizen.
IDC also forecast some sort of growth for the four major smartwatch platforms, but a possible shift in who has the most market share over the next several years. Apple Watch will be driving volume for most, if not all of the five-year forecast period. In time, though, Android Wear is expected to garner enough clout with manufacturers to begin to shift that Apple Watch share towards its way. OEM-proprietary operating systems will also start appearing in greater numbers to help companies accessorize other smartdevices or enter into the fitness tracking market. Pebble will appear to remain in the market with a relatively small but fiercely loyal fanbase. Samsung’s Tizen platform might be able to gain traction now that the Gear S2 supports Android devices other than the company’s own, but that looks iffy at this point.
The forecast numbers for 2015 and through 2019 are below.