Wearable band shipments will pass 43.2 million in 2015


Launch of Apple Watch key driver in 129 per cent growth in wearables market, according to Canalys

Shipments of wearable bands is set to grow by 129 per cent year on year and reach 43.2 million units by next year, according to figures from industry analysts Canalys.

28.2 million of those shipped will be smart bands, up from around 6 million, whilst the other 15 million will be standard bands, up from around 12 million in 2014.

2015 will mark the first time that smart band shipments will exceed those of basic bands, with demand for the former being driven heavily by Apple, who launched its new Apple Watch at an event on Tuesday.

“By creating a new user interface tailored to its tiny display, Apple has produced a smart watch that mass-market consumers will actually want to wear,’ said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte. ‘The sleek software, variety of designs and reasonable entry price make for a compelling new product. Apple must still prove, however, that the final product will deliver adequate battery life for consumers.”

Canalys defined basic wearable bands as devices that work with a smartphone to serve a specific purpose, such as a fitness band. This is opposed to smart wearable bands which are multi-purpose and capable of running third-party computing applications.

The launch of new smart watches, including the Apple Watch, the Moto 360 and the Sony Smartwatch 2, will benefit basic band vendors such as Fitbit and Jawbone, Canalys VP and principal analyst Chris Jones claims, as their lower price point will give them more appeal in the immediate future.

Jones said: ‘The basic band vendors, such as Fitbit and Jawbone, will enjoy the advantages of their lower pricing for the immediate future.

“Eventually, however, stronger smart band competitors to the Apple Watch will likely emerge and push smart band pricing down, threatening the basic bands. This market will undergo disruption similar to that suffered by feature phones when smart phone prices fell.”

Canalys wearables statsThe research was from Canalys’ Wearable Technology Analysis service, which takes a quarterly look at the wearables market and gives country level estimates.

Wearable devices will be one of the key topics discussed at Mobile New’s “Wearable Tech; Hype or Hope?” channel conference on October 21. Find more information or book tickets here.