IDC forecasts that watches will account for the majority of all wearable devices shipped from now through 2021. However, the research group says that basic watches (devices that don’t run third party apps) will continue out-shipping smart watches (devices capable of running third party applications such as the Apple Watch.
Numerous traditional watch makers are shifting more resources to building hybrid watches, according to IDC. However, the research group says that smart watches, however, will see a boost in volumes in 2019 as cellular connectivity becomes more prevalent on the market.
Total shipment volumes of wearable devices — which includes wrist bands, earwear, and clothing — are expected to maintain their forward momentum. According to IDC, vendors will ship a total of 125.5 million wearable devices this year, marking a 20.4% increase from the 104.3 million units shipped in 2016. From there, the wearables market will nearly double before reaching a total of 240.1 million units shipped in 2021, resulting in a five-year compound annual growth rate of 18.2%.