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Wearable device sales could triple to 300m units by 2020

Paul Withers
August 30, 2016

CCS Insight’s latest global forecast expects fitness bands will continue to drive momentum over the next four years

Wearable device sales will triple between 2016 and 2020 to reach 300 million units, with the market expected to double in value from last year to $20 billion.

This is according to CCS Insight’s latest global forecast for smart wearable devices, which claims the majority of sales will be from fitness bands.

The analyst expects 53 million of these products will be sold this year, with volumes more than tripling to 165 million in 2020, at a total market value to $5 billion.

Smartwatch will account for just under a third of all sales in four years at 96 million, but CCS claims future growth in the smartwatch sector will be primarily driven by smart analogue watches from traditional watchmakers.

It believes these companies are now focusing their efforts in this areas as they try to reinvigorate the market by delivering analogue watches with a “smart twist”.

Smart analogue watch growth

CCS Insight wearables analyst George Jiliashvili said: “The initial hype around full-touch smartwatches has subsided. Despite concerted efforts by numerous consumer electronics makers to break into the category, this type of smartwatch still feels like a compromise, a solution looking for a problem.

“The Apple Watch is the only product delivering meaningful volumes and even Apple is struggling to grow sales”.

“Our research indicates the next wave of growth will come from smart analogue watches. Compared with full-touch smartwatches, these offer the convenience of a traditional watch but with added smart functionalities such as activity and sleep monitoring, all delivered with six- to 12-month battery life.”

The analyst also expects sales of wearable cameras to increase from 14 million this year to 25 million in 2020, with the forecast indicating that average prices will drop by about 40 per cent in the period, with greater affordability helping to drive adoption.

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