The global wearables market is poised for a decent 17 percent growth in 2017, reveals research firm Gartner in a report. Over 310 million wearable devices are likely to be sold, that would amount to $30.5 billion in worldwide revenues. Last year, 266 million devices were sold. The biggest revenue generator would be smartwatches accounting for $9.3 billion in sales, while Bluetooth-enabled headsets are likely to account for maximum devices (150 million) sold. Also Read - watchOS 8 announced: You Apple Watch gets lots of new health features and moreAlso Read - You can now own a Bugatti at around Rs 80,000
This year’s growth in Bluetooth headsets is largely driven by the elimination of the headphone jack in many flagship smartphones. Gartner estimates that Bluetooth headsets would remain the most sold wearable device through 2021, and by then “almost all mobile phones” will have no 3.5 mm jack. This category grew 16.7 percent this year. It will cross the 200 million-mark by 2021. ALSO READ: Xiaomi becomes world s leading wearables vendor ahead of Fitbit and Apple Also Read - Apple Watch can soon measure blood pressure, blood glucose and alcohol level: Report
As for smartwatches, 41.5 million units are likely to be shipped in 2017. By 2021, sales of smartwatches are estimated to total nearly 81 million units, representing 16 percent of the wearable device market. The stable average selling prices (ASPs) of Apple Watch has strengthened revenues in the segment. Apple will continue to have the largest market share among smartwatch providers. However, as more manufacturers enter the market, its share could decrease from approximately a third in 2016 to a quarter in 2021, notes Gartner.
However, the ASP of smartwatches is expected to fall as component and manufacturing costs come down riding on high demand in the US and some emerging markets. High-end brands like Apple though are likely to retain its premium pricing. The Apple Watch 3 is expected to debut next month, and will feature direct cellular connectivity that allows users to interact with Siri, as well as text and transfer sensor data in the absence of Wi-Fi. “Smartwatches are on pace to achieve the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2021, reaching $17.4 billion,” Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner, said in a statement. ALSO READ: Apple Watch 3 likely to launch in September alongside iPhone 8; here s what we know so far
Various other devices like head-mounted displays (HMDs), body-worn cameras, wristbands, fitness monitors and so on are also counted among wearables. Gartner believes that HMDs are yet to reach mainstream adoption. They account for 7 percent of all wearable devices shipped, and are likely to remain flat until 2021. Near-term opportunities for virtual reality HMDs is limited. “Theme parks, theaters, museums and sports venues will purchase HMDs to enhance the customers experience,” says Gartner. But that’s about it. Body cameras too are suffering from low adoption.