Newsroom

Press Releases

EGHAM, U.K., October 30, 2019

Gartner Says Global End-User Spending on Wearable Devices to Total $52 Billion in 2020

Competition from Lower Cost Smartwatches Will Reduce Average Selling Prices by 4.5% in 2021

 Worldwide end-user spending on wearable devices will total $52 billion in 2020 — an increase of 27% from 2019 — according to the latest forecast from Gartner, Inc. In 2019, worldwide wearable devices end-user spending is on pace to reach $41 billion.

End users will spend the most on smartwatches and smart clothing with spending growing 34% and 52% in 2020, respectively (see Table 1).

“More users coming into the smartwatch segment are replacing wristbands with smartwatches,” said Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner. “While brand leaders, Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch command premium pricing in the smartwatch segment, lower-priced players such as Xiaomi and Huawei will counterbalance high-priced smartwatches with lower cost smartwatches. We expect average selling prices of smartwatches to decline 4.5% between 2020 and 2021.”

Smartwatches and ear-worn devices will take the lead in term of shipments in 2020, with smartwatch shipments forecast to total 86 million units and ear-worn wearable shipments reaching 70 million units. The crowded ear-worn wearable market — led by Apple (AirPods), Samsung (Galaxy Buds), Xiaomi (AirDots) and Bose (SoundSport), and new entrant Amazon — remains competitive. Other competitors — such as Nuheara, Microsoft and Starkey — are offering attractive products that fuel demand such as hearing enhancements and over-the-counter hearing augmentation devices.

Table 1

Worldwide Wearable Devices End-User Spending by Type, 2018-2021 (Millions of Dollars)

Device Type

2018

2019

2020

2021

Smartwatch

12,412

17,047

22,803

27,388

Head-mounted display

Ear-worn

Sports watch

Wristband

Smart-clothing

Total

5,354

6,780

3,647

3,405

848

32,446

7,183

7,885

4,121

3,194

1,151

40,581

10,609

8,716

4,555

3,115

1,746

51,545

15,501

9,927

4,912

3,055

2,202

62,985

Source: Gartner (October 2019)

Several Factors Influence Rise in Wearable Devices Spending

One of the biggest influencers of increasing adoption of wearables is users who are new to the wearables market. Other influences include improved sensor accuracy, advances in miniaturization and better user data protection.

Device makers will focus on smaller and smarter sensors, and those built into wearable devices will increasingly be capable of more accurate readings enabling more use cases.

Miniaturization will also greatly benefit smart garments. Advances in miniaturization have enabled device makers to integrate sensors that can track sleep or medical conditions into wearables that are almost invisible to end users. “These discrete and nearly invisible wearables will particularly increase acceptance among reluctant end users,” said Alan Antin, senior research director at Gartner.

Gartner predicts that by 2023, miniaturizing capabilities will advance so that one tenth of all wearables will be unobtrusive to the user.

Data security and privacy is another influencing factor in the growing number of new wearable users. Wearable device organizations and ecosystem providers will continue to invest in protecting user data. Gartner analysts expect end-user privacy will remain an influencing factor impacting adoption especially for healthcare use cases, where HIPAA in the U.S. and relevant local regulatory rules apply. GDPR in Europe and privacy regulations in other countries will also further the cause of securing data and privacy rights.

Gartner clients can read more in “Forecast Analysis: Wearable Electronic Devices, Worldwide.”

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT), is the world’s leading research and advisory company and a member of the S&P 500. We equip business leaders with indispensable insights, advice and tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities today and build the successful organizations of tomorrow.

Our unmatched combination of expert-led, practitioner-sourced and data-driven research steers clients toward the right decisions on the issues that matter most. We are a trusted advisor and objective resource for more than 15,000 organizations in more than 100 countries — across all major functions, in every industry and enterprise size.

To learn more about how we help decision makers fuel the future of business, visit gartner.com.

Contacts