New Year, New Demand for Wearables in Emerging Markets

IDCAccording to a new report from the IDC, The Middle East and Africa (MEA) wearables market continued to see steady growth in Q3 2016.

And the trend isn’t likely to change in 2017.

That’s per the findings of the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The global ICT research and consulting services firm said in a release that the Middle East and Africa (MEA) wearables market grew 38.3% year on year in Q3 2016 to total approximately 487,000 units.

The growth is being driven by low-cost basic wearables (i.e., devices that do not support third-party applications), which grew 55.9% year on year, while shipments of smart wearables (i.e., devices that do support third-party applications) increased 4.1% over the same period.

“Buyers for smart wearables are limited as the main application for these devices is fitness, which is an area that basic wearables also cater for at a much lower cost,” says Nakul Dogra, a senior research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC MEA. “Basic wearables continue to experience higher uptake as their already-low prices are declining further still in a bid to drive differentiation, since there is little to separate the offerings in terms of functionality.”

IDC expects the MEA wearables market to total 1.96 million units for 2016 as a whole, which represents an increase of 38.4% on 2015. Looking ahead, the market is tipped to grow a further 22.6% in 2017 to reach 2.4 million units for the year. The uptake of wearables has been relatively slow in MEA when compared to other regions, so there is still plenty of room for adoption and continued steady growth over the coming years. New product launches in the earwear and clothing categories will also fuel further growth.

To keep pace with the changes taking place in this fast-moving market, IDC has launched its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, “which assists vendors that are looking to enter this market, promote new product developments, or accelerate the growth of their wearables divisions.”

To learn more, click here.