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April 11, 2014

Global wearable device sales to triple this year

Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP, and Fitbit devices would lead the market trough 2018.

By CBR Staff Writer

The global shipments of wearable computing devices are expected to grow three times to 19 million units in 2014, reaching 111.9 million units by the end of 2018, a new report has forecast.

Complex wearable accessories including Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone UP, and Fitbit devices are expected to lead the market trough 2018 as they gain user attention due to low price and simplicity, the latest IDC report noted.

IDC Mobile Phones research manager, Ramon Llamas, said that complex accessories have succeeded in drawing much-needed interest and attention to a wearables market that has had some difficulty gaining traction.

"The increased buzz has prompted more vendors to announce their intentions to enter this market," Llamas added.

"Most importantly, end-users have warmed to their simplicity in terms of design and functionality, making their value easy to understand and use."

The report also projects that smart accessories market would gain traction through the forecast period and exceed complex accessory shipments by the end of the period.

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"Similar to complex accessories, with their dependence on connecting with IP-capable devices, smart accessories allow users to add third-party applications that boost features and functions for a more robust experience," the report added.

"While not quite ready for prime time, the smart accessory market will continue to mature as users better understand and accept the value proposition and vendors refine their offerings."

Lastly, the smart wearables, which include Google Glass, operate with full autonomy, independent of any other device except for accessing the Internet.

In a bid to achieve success, smart wearable vendors are advised to convince users to experience a new user experience along with offering a robust selection of third-party applications.

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