This figure is an increase of 18.4 per cent from 232 million units in 2015. Of course they could have got it wrong and one of them is about to meet a tall dark stranger – divination is a tricky business.
The oracle suggests that sales of wearable electronic devices will generate revenues of $28.7 billion in 2016. Of that, $11.5 billion will be from smartwatches.
Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner said that from 2015 through 2017, smartwatch adoption will grow by 48 per cent because Apple made them all popular apparently.
Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among all wearables through 2019, reaching US$17.5 billion. Sales of smartwatches are the one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption will remain much below sales of smartphones. For example, in 2016 more than 374 million smartphones will sell in mature market countries and in large urban areas of emerging market countries, for example, in Hong Kong and Singapore, McIntyre said.
Fitness wearables, which include wristbands, smart garments, chest straps, sports watches and other fitness monitors, continue to increase in popularity, driven in some part by US wellness programmes.
"Of all the fitness wearables, sports watches will be the one product category to maintain its average retail price over the next several years. Race runners, cyclists and divers will choose sports watches over smartwatches because the user interface, capabilities and durability are tailored to the needs of an athlete in their sport. Continued advances in sensors and analytics for sports watches will bring new capabilities that bolster average retail prices," McIntyre said.
Head-mounted displays (HMDs) are an emerging market with origins as expensive military projects, and in 2016 the HMD market will progress toward mainstream adoption for consumers and enterprise use.
Brian Blau, research director at Gartner added that new virtual reality HMDs for consumers, such as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR, and Microsoft HoloLens are expected to be available along with video games and entertainment content as well as business applications critical for their success.
"Film producers and sports leagues will augment their traditional content through HMDs to enhance their customer experiences by creating interactive attractions, movies, and sporting events that make the content more personal and meaningful," McIntyre said.