Connected accessory shipments to reach 170 million by 2018

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Surge in mobile accessories market driven by demand for fitness, healthcare and smart wearable devices, research suggests

Shipments of smart wireless accessories could reach 170 million per annum by 2018, compared to around 15 million this year, according to a report by tech analysts Juniper research.

Juniper’s latest report, ‘Smart Wireless Accessories: CE, Fitness, Health, Payments & Enterprise 2013-2018’, claims connected consumer electronics and fitness accessories will be the main catalysts of short term change, accounting for more than 50 per cent of devices shipped in the forecast period.

The introduction of connected wearable accessories, such as smart watches, is expected to continue to push the number of devices shipped towards the end of the forecast period, while healthcare accessories are also expected to become more popular in the long term.

The report also found “significant” growth can be expected across a range of products, from video eyewear, such as Google Glass, baby monitoring, home security and TV equipment.

Juniper Research senior analyst and author of the report Nitin Bhas (pictured) commented: “The actual take up of smart wireless accessories will depend on whether companies succeed in creating accessories that will capture the imagination of the consumer. Nevertheless, the multiplicity of potential use cases means that the consumer electronics category represents one of the most important areas in which smart wireless accessories will develop.

“Smart watches are expected to gain momentum over the next three years considering the rumours surrounding Apple’s entry into this market, following its recent successful patent application for a wearable device and the ‘iWatch’ trade mark approval in Japan. Adoption for devices such as smart glasses will be low compared to other devices, for example fitness and sports peripherals, owing to high initial price points. However, such devices will gain traction amongst consumers over the forecast period, especially towards the latter years.”

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