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Are wearables replacing Smartphones?

  • Shipments of wearables are nearly 90 million in 2016
  • Shipments are projected to grow to more than 200m by 2020
  • Smartwatches will continue to dominate the market
  • Smartwatches will account for more than 50 per cent of wearables shipments by 2020


High mobile penetration in the region is a boon for the Middle East’s manufacturers and distributors of wearable technology.


According to market research firm Frost & Sullivan, the region’s wearables market is headed for strong growth as the popularity of Smartwatches is expanding rapidly.


Globally, Frost & Sullivan predicts that shipments of wearables, which also include other computing devices such as glasses, bands, cameras and clothing, will more than double by 2020.


Shipments are projected to grow from nearly 90 million in 2016 to over 200m over the next four years.


However, Smartwatches will continue to dominate the market, accounting for more than 50 per cent of wearables shipments by 2020 and growing by 69 per cent every year until then. Revenue is projected accelerate faster than sales at 78 per cent annually, according to Frost & Sullivan.


Globally, Smart device manufacturers are looking to cash in on the Smart wearables trend. Currently, the market is dominated by Smart wristbands at 51 per cent and Smartwatches at 41 per cent, but the field will become more diversified by 2020, according to research firm IDC.


“Smart wearables will rapidly advance in technology to replace Smartphones by 2020, and provide a gateway for seamless citizen interaction with the Internet of Things and Smart Cities,” said Robert Scoble, Entrepreneur in Residence at Silicon Valley-based virtual reality start-up Upload VR.


“The GCC, with its advancing Smart Cities, is well-positioned to be among global leaders in demonstrating how wearables can be optimised for hyper-connectivity. Smart wearables can deliver an enhanced experience that was only in the realm of sci-fi films, especially in verticals such as healthcare, transportation, marketing and retail,” Scoble added.


Dubai is gearing up to host GITEX Technology Week 2016, the region’s biggest annual consumer computer and electronics trade show. The event, which will run from October 16 to 20 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, is expected to welcome more than 146,000 ICT professionals, 20,000 C-level executives and in excess of 3,500 exhibitors.