Juniper Research Publishes Market Forecast for Wearables

By Helen Vince
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Market Forecast – Wearable devices are the darling of the season with many looking forward to the reception of the Apple Watch.  Juniper Research has meanwhile released its new “Smart Health & Fitness Wearables: Device Strategies, Trends & Forecasts 2014 – 2019” report.

While the sales of fitness bands and the like have increased in recent years substantially, the record for the continued use of such devices is not so great.  Juniper estimates that after six months only 70% of devices are still in use.  The also see that by the end of 2014 there are over 18 million devices in use, a number that will significantly grow by 2018.

In 2018 they see the following distribution of fitness devices by area:

Juniper Research_wearable report_11_2014

The chart sees over 70 million units in use, most of them being used in far east and Asia followed by North America and Western Europe.  They also see a continued struggle between different devices.  While the typical fitness band will extend its reach from very low cost devices for impulse buyers to higher end models that compete with smartwatches at higher price points, the smartwatches will also impede into the health and fitness market.

Juniper Research sees this trend moving more towards the use of smartwatches in the later years.  They base this assessment on what they call the greater appeal of the smartwatch.  So far this trend has not materialized and if the Apple Watch does not open up a much stronger consumer acceptance, this may not materialize any time soon.

The report includes analysis of the health and fitness wearable market players as well as the strategies to their disposal.  They provide device shipments as well as vendor market share and hardware/software revenues for the fitness market.  They identified several key findings like the the impact of Fitbit’s decision to not integrate with Apple Health or how the new start up GOQii is pioneering a new service-based business model, offering contact with fitness coaches alongside their device.  They also include 25 ‘what if’ scenarios in their report.  The report is available directly form Juniper Research.  – Norbert Hildebrand