Industry crystal ball gazer CCS has revealed its latest expectations for wearables in 2015 and, unsurprisingly, it predicts that the Apple Watch release in April will transform the landscape.
The grippingly titled Market Forecast: Wearables Worldwide, 2014-2018 report predicts that the Apple Watch will "account for a quarter of the wearables market in 2015, selling around 20 million by the end of the year."
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The authors have estimates that 7% of those who own a compatible iPhone will plump for a wearable device, which does seem a little high, but not an outrageous proposition. If those numbers do turn out to be correct, it would make Apple an instant runaway leader in the smartwatch space.
Ben Wood, CCS Insight's Chief of Research said: "The Apple Watch will be instrumental in taking the wearables market to the next level of growth. If successful, it'll create a rising tide that will lift the whole market."
Overall, CCS hypothesises that sales of wearable tech will balloon from the 29 million devices shipped in 2014 to 172 million in 2018. When that happens, there will be a total of 350 million wearables in use around the world.
It's a strong set of predictions that yet again show that the growth in wearables shows no sign of abating. The company firmly puts the short term growth at the feet of fitness trackers and smartwatches, which echoes other research that shows these devices will enjoy strong sales in 2015. Predictions from Gartner last year reported that these form factors will start to converge in 2016 – which could see the fitness tracker as we know it disappear.
Of course, these predictions are readily trotted out and revised, and CCS's last wearables report was only released back in August. In that, it predicted 22 million wearables would be shipped in 2014 – underestimating by a cool 7 million on its 2015 guesses.