IDC attributes the rapid growth to a combination of new vendors, new devices, and greater end-user awareness.
“Smart wearables,” that is, wearables capable of running apps will fuel the growth of the space. These devices include the Apple Watch, Motorola’s 360 smartwatch, and the Samsung Gear watches.
Such smart wearables sold about 4.2 million of such smart wearables sold in 2014, but IDC expects that number to rocket up to 25.7 million units this year. Dumber wearables, like basic fitness trackers that don’t run apps, IDC says, will grow from sales of 15.4 million units in 2014 to 20 million units in 2015.
“Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year,” said IDC analyst Ramon Llamas. “The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight.
“Basic wearables, meanwhile, will not disappear,” Llamas says. “In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices.”