Sales of Smartwatches to Total 41.5 Million Units in 2017
In 2017, 41.5 million smartwatches will be sold. They are on pace to account for the highest unit sales of all wearable device form factors from 2019 to 2021, aside from Bluetooth headsets. By 2021, sales of smartwatches are estimated to total nearly 81 million units, representing 16 percent of total wearable device sales.
"Smartwatches are on pace to achieve the greatest revenue potential
among all wearables through 2021, reaching
Table 1: Forecast for Wearable Devices Worldwide 2016-2018 and 2021 (Millions of Units)
|Other fitness monitor||55.46||55.7||56.23||58.73|
Smartwatches: A Market Divided Between Four Types of Providers
Two sub-categories that
The other sub-category, which will account for 25 percent of smartwatch
units by 2021, is fashion and traditional watch brands. "Luxury and
fashion watch brands will offer smartwatches in an attempt to attract
younger customers," said Ms. McIntyre. A final sub-category is
represented by the startup and while-label brands (e.g.,
Bluetooth Headsets to Account for 48 Percent of All Wearable Devices in 2017
In 2017, 150 million Bluetooth headsets will be sold, an increase of 16.7 percent from 2016. Sales will increase to 206 million units in 2021, meaning Bluetooth headsets will remain the most sold wearable device through 2021. The growth in Bluetooth headsets is driven by the elimination of the headphone jack by major smartphone providers. "By 2021, we assume that almost all premium mobile phones will no longer have the 3.5 mm jack," said Ms. McIntyre.
Head-Mounted Displays Remain in Their Infancy
Head-mounted displays (HMDs) account for only 7 percent of all wearable devices shipped in 2017, and will not reach mainstream adoption with consumers or industrial customers through 2021. "Current low adoption by mainstream consumers shows that the market is still in its infancy, not that it lacks longer-term potential," said Ms. McIntyre.
Near-term opportunities for virtual reality HMDs among consumers are with video game players. Workers will also use them for tasks such as equipment repair, inspections and maintenance, but also in warehouses and manufacturing, training, design, customer interactions and more. Theme parks, theaters, museums and sports venues will purchase HMDs to enhance the customers’ experience in interactive attractions or movies, and add information and supplemental images at sporting events.
Additional analysis on driving digital business transformation will be
Upcoming dates and locations for Gartner Symposium/ITxpo include:
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding Gartner's business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.