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March 16, 2017updated 26 Jul 2022 4:57am

Wearables set to boom in spite of current market gloom

Smartwatches are expected to see continued mainstream acceptance as the market doubles over the next four years

By Joe Clark

A new report estimates that the market for smartwatches is expected to double over the next four years.

The newest wearables forecast from CCS Insight predicts that in 2021 over 86 million smartwatches will be purchased, whereas 43 million will be sold in 2017.  The wearable market is also expected to increase in value from $10 billion in 2017 to $17 billion in the same amount of time.

Wearable tech includes smart footwear, wearable cameras such as Go Pro, and smart jewellery. By 2021, 8 million pairs of smart footwear will be sold, 21 million attachable cameras, and 2 million tokens, clip-ons and jewellery.

George Jijiashvili, wearables analyst at CCS Insight, said: “It’s clear that companies like Apple and Samsung have recognised the success of performance fitness watches and have implemented more and more fitness features into their own smartwatches to broaden their appeal.”

“There’s currently an air of cautious optimism among smartwatch makers, especially as sales of fitness bands appear to have stalled.”

“We had initially anticipated that smart analogue watches would be the major source of sales volumes in the coming years, but the watches available over the past 18 months have failed to live up to expectations.”

Read more: ‘Apple Watch sales plunge as Fitbit continues to rule wearables market’

One of the biggest markets that has been embracing this new technological trend is connected watches for children in China. In 2016 Chinese smartwatches for children account for 16 million of the units sold.

CCS Insight believe that this is due to the watches ability to allow parents to track their children, something which has become increasingly more mainstream within China. These sales are expected to reach 25 million per year by 2021.

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In terms of what the direction the technology is headed in, CCS predict that a cellular version of the Apple Watch will be available later in 2017, along with 9% of the smartwatch market as a whole. This number is expected to increase to 12% by 2021.

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