The young wearables industry is growing rapidly, driven by improved technology, new applications, and lower costs. Within the industry, shifting demands are leading to changes in the growth areas. Some of these changes are highlighted in a new market report.
Juniper Research has published a research report entitled “Smart Wearables: Competitor Strategies, Opportunities & Forecasts 2018-2022“. As indicated in the title, the report includes forecasts for different market segments. The Juniper analysts predict that the industry will ship nearly 350 million smart wearable devices by 2020. Of these, smartwatches currently dominate with 137 million units expected to ship in 2018. As we have been saying for some time, the growth of the smartwatch market is slowing; Juniper expects shipments to reach 190 million in 2020 for a compound annual growth rate of 31%. One area of significant growth will be connected clothing; while current shipments are low, they are forecast to reach more than 7 million units in 2020 for an astounding 102% CAGR. This rate is certainly aided by the fact that any growth over current shipment levels will mark a significant increase, but Juniper analysts expect the rapid growth to continue and reach nearly 30 million units by 2022.
The Juniper report also underscores another trend that we’ve been predicting for a while at Health Tech Insider. Software and services will make up an important portion of revenues for wearables manufacturers going forward, and “the largest market for these subscription services will be healthcare.” It’s the data generated by these devices that is valuable, and companies will pay for the analytics that will make the information useful. Juniper expects these revenues to top $2.5 billion by 2022.
The bottom line is that there’s still plenty of money left out there to drive growth in the wearables market. The shift will continue away from fitness for consumers and towards health and medical applications that will lead to cost savings and improved outcomes.