According to the European think tank IDATE, which presented its latest findings at CES in Las Vegas, worldwide sales of wearables (smartwatches, glasses, etc.) are due to reach 123 million devices in 2018, up from just over 20 million in 2014. This represents an average annual growth rate of 70%.
From 2015, smartwatches are expected to account for over half of all wearables sold, thanks namely to the maturity of the market and the launch of the Apple Watch. By 2018, IDATE estimates these connected wristwatches will account for 65% of the wearables market.
Connected glasses will account for an estimated 18% of the sector, despite being sold at a price point that is prohibitive for many consumers (over $1,000). Meanwhile, sales of connected wristbands are expected to decline starting in 2017, as their primary features and functions will progressively be added to other terminals (smartphones, smartwatches) whose prices will continue to decline.
Overall, IDATE expects the volume of consumer electronic devices sold worldwide to rise from 2.4 billion in 2014 to 3.6 billion in 2018. The strongest growth is due to come from the mobile devices segment (including smartphones, tablets and portable gaming consoles), which will see an estimated average annual growth rate of 12% over the period.
In the meantime, the internet of things (IoT) is the major tech trend of the moment, as illustrated by the 900 exhibitors presenting connected "things" and related services at CES 2015 running through January 9.