This week Gartner published a report covering wearables. It noted that "From 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will have 48 percent growth largely due to Apple popularizing wearables as a lifestyle trend. Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. "Though the sales of smartwatches are the one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption will remain much below sales of smartphones." McIntyre further noted that "Of all the fitness wearables, sports watches will be the one product category to maintain its average retail price over the next several years.
During Apple's financial conference call earlier this month, CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple had "expanded distribution of Apple Watch to over 12,000 locations in 48 countries during the quarter. As we expected, we set a new quarterly record for Apple Watch sales with especially strong sales for the month of December."
Unfortunately Apple doesn't break out statistics for Apple Watch which makes it difficult to determine actual sales volume or growth per quarter. Estimates of shipments have been all over the map since its debut. Apple's secrecy on the statistics of their first wearable device shows that it's a work in progress and a minor niche category at present.
The Coming Head Mounted Display Trend
One area that Gartner sees as an emerging trend going forward is Head-mounted displays (HMDs). In 2016 the HMD market will progress toward mainstream adoption for consumers and enterprise use. "New virtual reality HMDs for consumers, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens are expected to be available along with video games and entertainment content as well as business applications critical for their success," said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner. "Film producers and sports leagues will augment their traditional content through HMDs to enhance their customer experiences by creating interactive attractions, movies, and sporting events that make the content more personal and meaningful."
Enterprise use of HMDs will also grow in the coming years with 26 percent of HMDs designed for business use in 2018. HMDs will be purchased by businesses for use by employees for tasks such as equipment repair, inspections and maintenance. Workers also will use HMDs for viewing instructions and directions hands free while they are performing a task.
We've been reporting for some time now that Apple had been creating a VR team and recent revelations indicate that Apple is now accelerating their VR project