Many college stores have found success selling wearable technology to students on campus, but that could soon change as sales of smartwatches are projected to outpace other wearables.
International Data Corp. (IDC) found that wearable shipments will be around 80 million this year, with smartwatches making up a quarter of the total. Shipments will increase to 111 million units by the end of 2016 and will double by 2019, according to IDC research.
The company estimated that shipments of smartwatches will rise from 34.3 million units next year to 88.3 million by 2019. Fitness bands will take a direct hit because of that jump.
“Cellular connectivity, health sensors, not to mention the explosive third-party application market, all stand to change the game and will raise the appeal and value of the market going forward,” IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said of smartwatches in a report for InformationWeek.
The Apple Watch will lead the category in 2016 with a 61% share of the market, with the Android Wear platform a distant second at 15.8%. Apple could ship as many as 45 million watches by 2019, according to IDC, but Android Wear will become a more formidable competitor by then, with a share of 38.8%.
At the same time, Rick Yang, a venture-capital partner at New Enterprise Associates, told CNBC that wearables will disappear next year in favor of newer and more fashionable products. He said luxury brands will soon enter the smartwatch field and that technology embedded into clothing and tattoos could become the next big trend in the industry.
“Our big thesis has been that wearables will mirror fashion.” Yang said. “I think tattoos are one of the ultimate fashion statements and so it’s only a matter of time before that gets penetrated by technology as well.”