A new IDC report published today claims that their research supports wearable device shipments to reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up 163.6% from the 28.9 million units shipped in 2014. By 2019, worldwide shipments will reach 173.4 million units. Total shipments include both basic and smart wearables, which are two very different product categories in many aspects.
Ramon Llamas, Research Manager of Wearables stated in IDC's report that "Looking ahead, customers will need to pay close attention to the different operating systems that power smart wristwear."
Today, Apple's WatchOS is the winner coming out of the gate like a rocket as noted in the IDC chart below. Apple, which is new to the smart wearables market, currently holds a commanding lead with 58.3% market share. By the time Christmas is over, the lead for WatchOS may be staggering.
Last week Apple announced WatchOS 2 at their iPhone event delivering more watch face choices, faster speed, enhanced communication options and more.
Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC's Mobile Device Trackers stated that "Driven by advancements in user interface (UI) and features, smart wearables are on track to surpass the lower priced, less functional basic wearable category in 2018.
Ubrani added that "Smart wearables will quickly move from a smartphone accessory primarily focused on notifications to a more advanced wearable computer capable of doing more processing on its own."