The emergence of the wearables market

April 23, 2015

Mobile innovations are developing business operations in a variety of sectors, especially healthcare and tech. Chief executives around the globe are increasing the flexibility of their workforces by implementing smartphones and tablets into their daily routines. These portable devices enable tech-dependent workers to conduct their standard routines regardless of the location. As a result, the mobile tech market is booming.

One of the more fascinating sub-categories of mobile tech is the wearable device segment. This small but growing industry does its best to fully comply with the surging preference for functional, on-the-go items. From breakfast food to tech, a growing number of consumers don’t want their products to slow them down. The wearables market is rising to meet this confluence of market demands.

Millennials driving growth of wearables
PwC US, a global services network, recently reported that 20 percent of Americans own wearable devices. The firm compared the segment’s current growth rate to the emergence of tablets in 2012. The market is expected to rise quickly.

“Businesses must evolve their existing mobile-first strategy to now include the wearable revolution and deliver perceived value to the consumer in an experiential manner,” said Deborah Bothun, an entertainment, media and communications representative for PwC. “Relevance is the baseline, but then there is a consumer list of requirements to enable interaction with the brand in a mobile and wearable environment.”

For wearables to appeal to its key market demographics, it must embrace a practical approach to design. Early figures for the segment hint toward significant promise. PwC US found that 53 percent of millennials say they are excited about the development of wearable tech.

Immediate growth for wearable devices
Canalys, a global data mining firm, noted that wearable brand shipments will increase by 129 percent year-over-year to 43.2 million units in 2015. The firm noted that in the long-term, wearable brands must find a way to differentiate themselves from the offerings of smartphones to ensure sustainable market demand.

“The basic band vendors, such as Fitbit and Jawbone, will enjoy the advantages of their lower pricing for the immediate future,” said Chris Jones, the vice president and principal analyst for Canalys. “Eventually, however, stronger smart band competitors to the Apple Watch will likely emerge and push smart band pricing down, threatening the basic bands. This market will undergo disruption similar to that suffered by feature phones when smartphone prices fell.”