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Previous Blogs

October 28, 2014
The Next Evolution for Wearables: Busines

October 21, 2014
Size Does Matter...When it Comes to Screens

October 14, 2014
Insider Extra: Does Windows Stand a Chance With Enterprise Mobile Apps?

October 14, 2014
Does Big Data Equal Big Brother?

October 7, 2014
Is Windows Still Relevant?

September 30, 2014
Tablet and Smartphone Futures: Specialization

September 23, 2014
Is the App Ecosystem Sustainable?

September 16, 2014
The Wearable-Identity Connection

September 9, 2014
The Password Dilemma

September 8, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk--Driving Flash Forward

September 2, 2014
Smart Connected Devices: A New Forecast

August 26, 2014
Phablets—aka Pocket Computers—Drive New World Order

August 19, 2014
Device Usage Diversity

August 12, 2014
New Life for the PC

August 5, 2014
Hot Items for the Holidays: Large Phones, Notebooks and Smart TVs

July 29, 2014
Smartphones: Life's Remote Control

July 22, 2014
The Joy of Vintage Tech

July 15, 2014
Digital Generation Gap

July 8, 2014
Virtualization Reborn

July 1, 2014
Portable Digital Identities

June 24, 2014
The Future of UI: Contextual Intelligence

June 17, 2014
Moving to Markets of One

June 16, 2014
Insider Extra: Dell and the Battle for Business

June 10, 2014
Screen Overload to Drive Screen-less Devices

June 3, 2014
Apple Drives Vision of Seamless Multi-Device Computing

May 27, 2014
Surface Pro 3: The Future of PCs?

May 22, 2014
Insider Extra: SanDisk: The Many Faces of Flash

May 20, 2014
The Technological Divining Rod

May 13, 2014
Computing in the Cloud

May 6, 2014
Device Usage a Question of Degree

April 29, 2014
The Next Smartphone Battleground: Durability

April 22, 2014
BYOD: A Work in Progress

April 18, 2014
Insider Extra: AMD Back in the Groove

April 15, 2014
The Mobility Myth

April 9, 2014
BYOD Dilemma: Devices vs. Data

April 8, 2014
Insider Extra: Qualcomm's Evolving Story

April 1, 2014
A Wearables Forecast

March 25, 2014
Measuring Success in Wearables? It's Thousands of Thousands

March 24, 2014
Insider Extra: Intel Strategy Moves Forward

March 18, 2014
IOT: Islands of Isolated Things?

March 11, 2014
Wearables Cautionary Tale

March 4, 2014
The New Platform Battle

February 25, 2014
Watch What Happens

February 18, 2014
Talkin' 'bout Touchpads

February 11, 2014
The MultiOS Conundrum

February 4, 2014
Computing Redefined

January 28, 2014
The Apple Problem

January 21, 2014
The 2-in-1s People Might Want

January 14, 2014
The Post Tablet Era

January 7, 2014
The Innovation Asymptote

December 31, 2013
Top 5 2014 Predictions

December 17, 2013
Holiday Shoppers Gifting Themselves

December 10, 2013
Companion Apps

December 3, 2013
Aisle Check
















TECHnalysis Research Blog

November 4, 2014
A New Wearables Forecast

The wearables category has seen some important new announcements and additions over the last few weeks, so it’s not surprising to see more attention being paid to the market. Of course, there was the Apple Watch announcement back in September. Just last week Microsoft debuted the Microsoft Band to reasonably decent acclaim, while HP jumped into the act with their Michael Bastian-designed MB Chronowing smart watch. The week before that, we also saw several new announcements from early market leader FitBit with their Charge, Charge HR, and Surge additions to their line of activity trackers. The week before that Will.i.am jumped in with his standalone i.amPULS smart watch.

It’s as if everyone thinks this market is set to explode.

In many cases, however, all we really got were announcements, because a lot of these new products won’t start shipping until 2015. In fact, my December 2013 prediction that there would be more wearable announcements than wearable shipments in 2014 is proving to be significantly more prescient than even I could have imagined…

Despite all this news and excitement around the wearables category, I’m still not convinced it’s going to be as big a market as many have made it out to be. The primary, over-riding problem is that no one has really been able to provide a compelling reason why the vast majority of people would want a wearable, let alone feel that they “need” to have one. Sure, there are good cases to be made for fitness junkies, the whole “quantified self” movement and bleeding-edge early adopters, but for most people, smart wearables still feel like a solution in search of a problem.

If that wasn’t enough, many of these early products suffer from limited battery life, offer only semi-accurate sensor readings, and lock you into working with only certain smartphones.
That doesn’t mean I don’t think people will buy these devices in reasonable numbers. Believe it or not, I actually do, because there is still something intriguingly compelling about moving computing and information access even closer to your body. Plus, the relatively moderate price points for the devices will enable a number of people to purchase and try them on an experimental basis. However, I characterize the expected market reaction to be tepid—not hot, but not really cold either.

To be more specific, in the newly updated smart wearables forecast that my firm TECHnalysis Research just published yesterday, we predict that the worldwide wearable market will double from just under 20 million unit shipments this year to around 40 million in 2015. Yes, that’s strong growth on a percentage basis, but remember that Apple by themselves sold nearly 40 million iPhones just last quarter. Put under that comparative light, the number isn’t that overwhelming.

©2014, TECHnalysis Research

Longer term, we believe the wearable market will grow to around 103 million units in 2018, with most of the shipments coming from the smart watches segment. On a revenue basis, the numbers are expected to move from around $2 billion in 2014 to $16 billion in 2018.
By the way, just to be clear, here’s the definition of smart wearables we used as a basis for this forecast:

A smart wearable device is a battery-powered, portable electronic device worn on a human body that offers some level of onboard processing and runs some type of integrated software. Most wearables have integrated sensors of various types as well as connectivity options (either wired or wireless) to other smart devices, such as smartphones. Electronic devices that are worn on the body but don’t have their own built-in compute capability, such as basic Bluetooth headsets or heads-up displays, are not considered smart wearables.

The wearable market has caught the attention and fancy of many leading tech vendors and much of the tech press, because it’s an intriguing new potential market. While I, too, share their enthusiasm for following it, I think it’s prudent to keep our near-term expectations in check or else we could end up with serious disappointment.

You can read more about the TECHnalysis Research updated Wearable Forecast here.

Here's a link to the original column: http://techpinions.com/a-new-wearables-forecast/36410

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