Wearable Shipments to Hit 135m by 2018, says CCS

Moto 360 CafeShipments of wearable devices are expected to hit 135m in 2018, according to forecasts from CCS Insight. By comparison, last year 9.7m wearables were shipped, a number which is expected to grow 129 per cent in 2014, to 22m.

In the short term, activity trackers will remain the most popular device, accounting for 59 per cent of wearable shipments. By 2018, though, smartwatches will have taken over with a forecasted 50.3 per cent of shipments. CCS believes that people are most interested in devices that are worn on their wrist, with sales of smartwatches (68m) and activity trackers (50m) adding up to 87 per cent of the total.

The outlook for smart glasses is less positive, with devices such as Google Glass expected to make up just two per cent of shipments in 2018.

Wearables are poised to be the perfect gift for the person who has everything this Christmas,” said Marina Koytcheva, director of forecasting at CCS. “The market is still in a chaotic stage of development, and theres still a huge amount of uncertainty. Every category faces different risks: the way people use wearables is still changing, one type of device could kill sales in another category, people are unsure whether some wearables are socially acceptable, and intellectual property rights are a minefield for the dozens of start-ups entering the wearables market.

The market could be changed beyond recognition if a major player like Apple decides to get into the game. History shows us that when Apple enters a market it can reshape the way people think about a product.”

North America currently leads the way in adoption of wearables, with 40 per cent of all wearable devices currently in use, but Western Europe is catching up 2016 is expected to overtake North America by 2016.