The arrival of the Apple Watch this year will instigate a “frenzy of demand” for wearable technology leading to a 158 percent jump in shipments, a new report has claimed.
CCS Insight’s global wearables forecast concluded that a total of 75 million wearables will be shipped in 2015, with Apple’s smartwatch accounting for a quarter of this.
A total of 20 million Apple Watches will be shipped in the next 12 months, making it the best-selling smartwatch ever. The US company unveiled the device last September.
CCS said that North America, which accounted for half of global sales in 2014, will remain the biggest market for wearables this year. But while 2015 could prove a “transformative” year, much depends on the success of Apple Watch, which will “make or break” the market.
Ben Wood, CCS Insight's Chief of Research, said: "The Apple Watch will be instrumental in taking the wearables market to the next level of growth. If successful, it'll create a rising tide that will lift the whole market.
"If the Apple Watch performs as well as expected, its halo effect will result in a sales bonanza in the second half of 2015, with record-breaking shipments in the important fourth quarter."
CCS forecasts that 350 million wearable devices will be in use by 2018. However, it said activity-tracking fitness bands will continue to dominate the market after doubling to 40 million units.
CCS Insight analyst George Jijiashvili commented: "In contrast to many other commentators, we don't believe smartwatches will dent sales of fitness products in the short term. Smart fitness devices do one thing and do it well: they measure activity with the goal of improving owners' wellbeing.
“This, combined with lower retail prices, longer battery life and a strong head start in terms of adoption, suggests that these devices will outperform smartwatches for several years to come."