Smartwatches set to dominate R4trn wearables market

2017-09-01 10:20 - Kyle Venktess, Fin24
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Huawei smart watch. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

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Johannesburg - Over 300 million wearable devices are expected to be sold in 2017 generating almost R4trn, according to research firm Gartner. 

A recent study by the company revealed that wearable device sales are expected to grow by 16.7% during the year, with an estimated sale of 41.5 million smartwatches alone.

Gartner forecasts that 310.4 million wearable devices will be sold worldwide in 2017, which will generate revenue of $30.5bn (R3.8trn) in 2017, with $9.3bn from smartwatches.

Bluetooth headsets are expected to account for 48% of all wearable devices in 2017, with an estimated 150 million units expected to be sold.

"Smartwatches are on pace to achieve the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2021, reaching $17.4bn," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. 

Revenue from smartwatches is bolstered by the relatively stable average selling prices of the Apple Watch.

"The overall ASP (average selling prices) of the smartwatch category will drop from $223.25 in 2017 to $214.99 in 2021 as higher volumes lead to slight reductions in manufacturing and component costs, but strong brands such as Apple and Fossil will keep pricing consistent with price bands of traditional watches," she said.

Two sub-categories Gartner expects to perform well are kids' smartwatches and traditional watch brands, which will emerge as significant segments for smartwatches. 

Gartner expects kids' smartwatches to represent 30% of total smartwatch unit shipments in 2021. 

These devices are targeted at children in the two- to 13-year-old range, considered too young by their parents for smartphones.

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