Smartwatches and Fitness Trackers to Lead Growth in Wearables Market, Says Study

Overall, the category is going through the roof

In “Wearable Device Market Forecasts,” a study by market intelligence firm Tractica that was released this week, smartwatches and fitness trackers were forecasted to lead future growth in the category—with smartwatches expected to eclipse fitness tracker unit volumes by the end of 2015.

Tractica also forecasts that cumulative wearable-device shipments will reach 750 million units between 2013 and 2020.

Courtesy Withings

The Withings Activité fitness tracker watch

The report also forecasts the breakdown of wearable shipments by device category, as follows:

  • Smartwatches: 45 percent
  • Fitness trackers: 30 percent
  • Wearable cameras: 15 percent
  • Smart clothing and body sensors: 6 percent
  • Smart augmented reality glasses: 2 percent
  • Other wearables: 2 percent

The study doesn’t call out cameras, notifiers, and fitness trackers that are embedded in jewelry pieces. But the popularity of jewelry-based wearables such as MICA and Ringly would point to significant future growth in the subcategory.

Another recent study, by market research firm IDC, backs up Tractica’s educated guesses—estimating that the shipment of global wearable devices will grow 173 percent in 2015, to 72.1 million units (from 26.4 million units a year ago). According to IDC’s “Wearables” report, the wearables category could reach 155.7 million units by 2019.

The under-$100 market seems particularly poised for growth, as younger (and more cash-strapped) consumers tend to be the earliest adopters of new technology.

Will you be adding a wearable or two to your merchandise mix this year? If so, drop me a line at—I’d love to hear what you’re stocking and how consumers are responding.

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JCK Senior Editor

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