MEA wearable device market grows 65%

Shipments of wearable devices grow on smart watch uptake, says IDC

Tags: IDC Middle East and AfricaSmart watchWearable device
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MEA wearable device market grows 65% The MEA market for wearable devices grew in Q1, mainly driven by increased sales of smart watches.
By  Mark Sutton Published  July 4, 2016

The market for wearable devices grew by 65.3% year-on-year in the Middle East and Africa region first quarter of 2016, driven mainly by smart watch sales, according to figures from International Data Corporation.

IDC said that shipments of wearable devices grew to 419,925 units in the first quarter, with growth in sales due to the launch of new models and lower prices.

"The growth of the wearables market provides a rare ray of light amid an overall downturn for personal computing in the region," said Nakul Dogra, a senior research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "This growth has been spurred by a number of factors, including declining average selling prices, new product launches, the entrance of lower-cost wearables, and the introduction of sleeker designs."

Smart wearables, which are classified as devices capable of running third-party applications, are still finding their feet in the market as many consumers continue to view the devices as too expensive for the features and functions they offer. As such, most of the growth in this segment of the market stems from the increasing popularity of smart watches.

Basic wearables, which are not capable of running third-party applications, continue to dominate the overall MEA wearables market with 71% unit share versus 29% for smart wearables. This dominance can be attributed to the growing popularity of fitness bands, which have been flooding into the market for a while now, proving to be a big hit with consumers.

The future of the MEA wearables market looks bright with IDC forecasting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.1% for the 2016-2020 period. This growth will primarily be driven by increased adoption of smart watches and wristbands as these devices evolve to become more sophisticated than simple health and fitness trackers.

"The growth will be further augmented by the launch of new wearable products in the clothing, eyewear, earwear categories, among others," said Fouad Rafiq Charakla, a senior research manager for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. "IDC expects vendors to step up their new product launches in the MEA market as share gain becomes the name of the game. We also anticipate new operating systems and versatile pools of applications to emerge in order to support all these new devices."

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker includes details on products, vendors, and technology trends at both global and country levels, as well as historical market data and five-year forecasts. The report also provides valuable insights into the adoption of core wearable features, such as form factor, connectivity, sensors, operating systems, and applications.

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