Worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 110 million by the end of 2016 with 38.2% growth over the previous year, according to IDC's latest report. The report notes that "Apple's watchOS is likely to see some slowdown in the early part of 2016 as anticipation builds for the second generation device. However, with newer hardware and an evolving ecosystem, Apple will remain the smartwatch leader through the majority of the forecast through to 2020.
Watch and wristband shipments will reach a combined total of 100 million shipments in 2016, up from 72.2 million in 2015. Other form factors, such as clothing, eyewear, and hearables, are expected to reach 9.8 million units in 2016 and will more than double their share by 2020. This will open the door for new experiences, use cases, and applications going forward. Still, the primary focus of the wearables market will be on smartwatches.
"Although smartwatches like the Apple Watch or Android Wear devices capture the spotlight, they will only account for a quarter of all wearables in 2016 and will grow to about a third by 2020," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.