The Connected Future | Global Wearable tech market is fast Evolving
Dr. Evangelo Damigos; PhD | Head of Digital Futures Research Desk
- Competitive Differentiation
- Sustainable Growth and Tech Trends
Publication | Update: Oct 2020
According to Steve Ranger of ZDNet, the market for wearable devices will continue to grow over the next three years and will continue to be dominated by smartwatches, with the Apple Watch continuing to be the biggest player.
According to IDC research global wearable device shipments reached 336.5 million in 2019. The bulk of this growth comes from the fourth quarter, which reached a new high of 118.9 million devices shipped, or an 82% growth rate.
IDC predicted that hearables would be the new wearables. According to IDC's latest data in its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report, this prediction holds true: More than half (55%) of the growth of wearables was attributed to hearables.
IDC defined hearables as "the wearables that hang on or plug into the ear. The device must operate wirelessly and provide stereo sound while also including at least one of the following features: Track health/fitness, modify audio, provide language translation on the device, or enable smart assistants at the touch of a button or through hotword detection."
According to GrandView Research, the global wearable technology market size was valued at USD 32.63 billion in 2019 and is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.9% from 2020 to 2027. The growing popularity of the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices and rising technically sound population is expected to drive the demand. Rising concerns of obesity and other chronic diseases have led to the adoption of wearable products such as body monitors and activity trackers, which offer real-time information about the overall health. These wearable products can offer information such as blood pressure, oxygen levels, quality and quantity of sleep, calorie intake, cholesterol levels, heartbeat monitoring, and other information required by the body for day-to-day activities.
According to Macy Bayern of Tech Republic, many tech giants have jumped on the hearable train, including Apple with the Airpods Pro, Amazon with Echo Buds, Android with Galaxy Buds, Microsoft with Surface Earbuds, and Google with Pixel Buds, cutting the cord as phone manufacturers eliminate the headphone jack.
Other popular wearable categories included watches (37% year-over-year growth) and wristbands (22% year-over-year growth). Wrist-worn devices captured nearly 49% of the total market, down from 70% last year.
Regardless of this decline, the wearables market grew by 89% in 2019, the report found.
Watches reached 92.4 million units shipped in 2019, which was up 23% from the 75.3 million units in 2018. According to the report, 2019 was the first time Apple's annual market share dipped below 40%, hitting 29%, while Huawei and Samsung gained popularity.
Earwear had the best year by far, shipping 170.5 million units worldwide and seeing 250% growth from shipments in 2018, the report found. With so many shipments occurring at the end of 2019, the popularity can be expected to continue into 2020.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic is anticipated to significantly impact the market growth. The outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis has expanded the role of wearable technologies in the healthcare sector. Some players operating in the wearable technology industry across other sectors are eager to enter the landscape of healthcare wearables to be used as prompt warning systems for the virus infection.
Additionally, increasing popularity about the benefit of these devices among professional athletes and recreational fitness consumers is expected to drive the demand for fitness and wellness products over the forecast period. Data privacy concerns may pose a challenge to revenue growth over the next seven years. Low battery life and high initial cost may also hinder the industry over the forecast period.
Moreover, increasing social awareness and various benefits of wearable electronics is anticipated to drive demand over the forecast period. Increasing disposable income and smartphone penetration is expected to boost industry growth in the forthcoming years. A high degree of research and development by the market players is expected to enhance technology over the next seven years. Advancement in sensors and battery life will help industry players to enhance the customer experience.
There is a huge availability of smart devices include tablets, phablets, and smartphones, among others. Presently, end users desire to have a single compact product that could integrate all the monitoring and computing requirements. This preference provides an opportunity for the companies to develop hybrid and multi-function wearables that offer convenience to the end-users and integrates the functionality of various products into a single compact wearable product.
Objectives and Study Scope
This study has assimilated knowledge and insight from business and subject-matter experts, and from a broad spectrum of market initiatives. Building on this research, the objectives of this market research report is to provide actionable intelligence on opportunities alongside the market size of various segments, as well as fact-based information on key factors influencing the market- growth drivers, industry-specific challenges and other critical issues in terms of detailed analysis and impact.
The report in its entirety provides a comprehensive overview of the current global condition, as well as notable opportunities and challenges.
The analysis reflects market size, latest trends, growth drivers, threats, opportunities, as well as key market segments. The study addresses market dynamics in several geographic segments along with market analysis for the current market environment and future scenario over the forecast period.
The report also segments the market into various categories based on the product, end user, application, type, and region.
The report also studies various growth drivers and restraints impacting the market, plus a comprehensive market and vendor landscape in addition to a SWOT analysis of the key players. This analysis also examines the competitive landscape within each market. Market factors are assessed by examining barriers to entry and market opportunities. Strategies adopted by key players including recent developments, new product launches, merger and acquisitions, and other insightful updates are provided.
Research Process & Methodology
We leverage extensive primary research, our contact database, knowledge of companies and industry relationships, patent and academic journal searches, and Institutes and University associate links to frame a strong visibility in the markets and technologies we cover.
We draw on available data sources and methods to profile developments. We use computerised data mining methods and analytical techniques, including cluster and regression modelling, to identify patterns from publicly available online information on enterprise web sites.
Historical, qualitative and quantitative information is obtained principally from confidential and proprietary sources, professional network, annual reports, investor relationship presentations, and expert interviews, about key factors, such as recent trends in industry performance and identify factors underlying those trends - drivers, restraints, opportunities, and challenges influencing the growth of the market, for both, the supply and demand sides.
In addition to our own desk research, various secondary sources, such as Hoovers, Dun & Bradstreet, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Statista, are referred to identify key players in the industry, supply chain and market size, percentage shares, splits, and breakdowns into segments and subsegments with respect to individual growth trends, prospects, and contribution to the total market.
Research Portfolio Sources:
Global Business Reviews, Research Papers, Commentary & Strategy Reports
M&A and Risk Management | Regulation
The future outlook “forecast” is based on a set of statistical methods such as regression analysis, industry specific drivers as well as analyst evaluations, as well as analysis of the trends that influence economic outcomes and business decision making.
The Global Economic Model is covering the political environment, the macroeconomic environment, market opportunities, policy towards free enterprise and competition, policy towards foreign investment, foreign trade and exchange controls, taxes, financing, the labour market and infrastructure. We aim update our market forecast to include the latest market developments and trends.
Review of independent forecasts for the main macroeconomic variables by the following organizations provide a holistic overview of the range of alternative opinions:
As a result, the reported forecasts derive from different forecasters and may not represent the view of any one forecaster over the whole of the forecast period. These projections provide an indication of what is, in our view most likely to happen, not what it will definitely happen.
Short- and medium-term forecasts are based on a “demand-side” forecasting framework, under the assumption that supply adjusts to meet demand either directly through changes in output or through the depletion of inventories.
Long-term projections rely on a supply-side framework, in which output is determined by the availability of labour and capital equipment and the growth in productivity.
Long-term growth prospects, are impacted by factors including the workforce capabilities, the openness of the economy to trade, the legal framework, fiscal policy, the degree of government regulation.
Direct contribution to GDP
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Forecasts of GDP growth: GDP = CN+IN+GS+NEX
GDP growth estimates take into account:
All relevant markets are quantified utilizing revenue figures for the forecast period. The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) within each segment is used to measure growth and to extrapolate data when figures are not publicly available.
Our market segments reflect major categories and subcategories of the global market, followed by an analysis of statistical data covering national spending and international trade relations and patterns. Market values reflect revenues paid by the final customer / end user to vendors and service providers either directly or through distribution channels, excluding VAT. Local currencies are converted to USD using the yearly average exchange rates of local currencies to the USD for the respective year as provided by the IMF World Economic Outlook Database.
Industry Life Cycle Market Phase
Market phase is determined using factors in the Industry Life Cycle model. The adapted market phase definitions are as follows:
The Global Economic Model
The Global Economic Model brings together macroeconomic and sectoral forecasts for quantifying the key relationships.
The model is a hybrid statistical model that uses macroeconomic variables and inter-industry linkages to forecast sectoral output. The model is used to forecast not just output, but prices, wages, employment and investment. The principal variables driving the industry model are the components of final demand, which directly or indirectly determine the demand facing each industry. However, other macroeconomic assumptions — in particular exchange rates, as well as world commodity prices — also enter into the equation, as well as other industry specific factors that have been or are expected to impact.
Forecasts of GDP growth per capita based on these factors can then be combined with demographic projections to give forecasts for overall GDP growth.
Wherever possible, publicly available data from ofﬁcial sources are used for the latest available year. Qualitative indicators are normalised (on the basis of: Normalised x = (x - Min(x)) / (Max(x) - Min(x)) where Min(x) and Max(x) are, the lowest and highest values for any given indicator respectively) and then aggregated across categories to enable an overall comparison. The normalised value is then transformed into a positive number on a scale of 0 to 100. The weighting assigned to each indicator can be changed to reﬂect different assumptions about their relative importance.
The principal explanatory variable in each industry’s output equation is the Total Demand variable, encompassing exogenous macroeconomic assumptions, consumer spending and investment, and intermediate demand for goods and services by sectors of the economy for use as inputs in the production of their own goods and services.
Elasticity measures the response of one economic variable to a change in another economic variable, whether the good or service is demanded as an input into a final product or whether it is the final product, and provides insight into the proportional impact of different economic actions and policy decisions.
Demand elasticities measure the change in the quantity demanded of a particular good or service as a result of changes to other economic variables, such as its own price, the price of competing or complementary goods and services, income levels, taxes.
Demand elasticities can be influenced by several factors. Each of these factors, along with the specific characteristics of the product, will interact to determine its overall responsiveness of demand to changes in prices and incomes.
The individual characteristics of a good or service will have an impact, but there are also a number of general factors that will typically affect the sensitivity of demand, such as the availability of substitutes, whereby the elasticity is typically higher the greater the number of available substitutes, as consumers can easily switch between different products.
The degree of necessity. Luxury products and habit forming ones, typically have a higher elasticity.
Proportion of the budget consumed by the item. Products that consume a large portion of the consumer’s budget tend to have greater elasticity.
Elasticities tend to be greater over the long run because consumers have more time to adjust their behaviour.
Finally, if the product or service is an input into a final product then the price elasticity will depend on the price elasticity of the final product, its cost share in the production costs, and the availability of substitutes for that good or service.
Prices are also forecast using an input-output framework. Input costs have two components; labour costs are driven by wages, while intermediate costs are computed as an input-output weighted aggregate of input sectors’ prices. Employment is a function of output and real sectoral wages, that are forecast as a function of whole economy growth in wages. Investment is forecast as a function of output and aggregate level business investment.