This IDC study presents the five-year forecast for the worldwide wearable computing devices market by product category. The worldwide wearable computing devices market (commonly referred to as "wearables") will reach a total of 19.2 million units in 2014, driven primarily by complex accessories such as Fitbit devices, Jawbone's UP bracelet, and Nike+ FuelBand. Smart accessories, such as the Pebble smartwatch, Samsung GALAXY Gear, and the Sony SmartWatch, will also take a giant step forward, but their value proposition has yet to be completely clarified. Finally, smart wearables like Google Glass have yet to reach millions of units shipped. To this end, IDC believes that the runway for smart wearables is long, and it will not be until 2016 that we begin to see millions of units shipping.
"Wearable computing is still at the launchpad," says Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's Mobile Phones team. "The market has certainly warmed up to the notion of wearables, but the spectrum of devices is so large ranging from very simple, single-purpose devices to full-fledged computers that different categories will be able to gain salience sooner than others. This will either allow vendors to hone their products and services or jump in sooner and establish critical ties with suppliers, distributors, and other players in the ecosystem."