Meanwhile, fashion and traditional watch brands are expected to account for 25 percent of smartwatch units by 2021. "Luxury and fashion watch brands will offer smartwatches in an attempt to attract younger customers," says McIntyre.
Besides smartwatches, the wearable device categories considered in the report include head-mounted displays, body-worn cameras, Bluetooth headsets, wristbands, Sports watches, and "other fitness monitors." Of these, Bluetooth headsets are expected to remain the most sold wearable device through 2021, with sales of 206 million units predicted in 2021.
The growth of Bluetooth headsets, says the report, will be driven by the elimination of headphone jacks by most smartphone providers. "By 2021, we assume that almost all premium mobile phones will no longer have the 3.5 mm jack," says McIntyre.
Meanwhile, an area of the wearable market that is getting a lot of attention with its association with virtual and augmented reality – head-mounted displays – will only account for seven percent of wearable devices shipped in 2017. However, says McIntyre, "Current low adoption by mainstream consumers shows that the market is still in its infancy, not that it lacks longer-term potential."