Market Stats

Gartner: The Future of Wearables is Inconspicuous

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According to Gartner the smart wearables of the future are inconspicuous-- the analyst predicts 30% of such devices will be "completely unobtrusive to the eye" by 2017.

Samsung Gear"Already, there are some interesting developments at the prototype stage that could pave the way for consumer wearables to blend seamlessly into their surroundings," Gartner says. "Smart contact lenses are one type in development. Another interesting wearable that is emerging is smart jewelry. There are around a dozen crowdfunded projects competing right now in this area, with sensors built into jewelry for communication alerts and emergency alarms."

Meanwhile "obtrusive" wearables currently on the market, such as smart glasses, will take cues from their more subtle peers and evolve into forms disguising their technological nature.


Smartphone Growth Simmers Says IDC

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According to IDC global smartphone shipments reach "nearly" 1.3 billion units in 2014, a 26.3% increase over 2013 as the market slows down from "boil a boil to a simmer" while prices drop and markets mature.

As such the analyst predicts growth reductions for the next 4 years, with shipments growing by 12.2% to 1.4bn in 2015 before reaching 1.9bn units in 2018 with a CAGR of 9.8% over the 2014-2018 period.

IDC Smartphones

Revenues face an even starker reality, as "increasingly cutthroat" pricing brings about a CAGR of just 4.2% over the same forecast period.

"The impact of upstart Chinese players in the global market will be reflected in a race to the bottom when it comes to price," IDC says. "While premium phones aren't going anywhere, we are seeing increasingly better specs in more affordable smartphones. Consumers no longer have to go with a top-of-the-line handset to guarantee decent hardware quality or experience."


Forrester: Apple Watch to Lead Wearables Boom

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Forrester Research reports wearable device numbers are to triple in 2015, with the Apple Watch alone attracting around 10 million customers as interest in the device category grows within both consumer and business segments.

Apple Watch launch"The wearable market will take off as brands, retailers, sports stadiums, healthcare companies, and others develop new business models to take advantage of wearables," the analyst says.

Interestingly the Forrester report also suggests European customers are cooler towards wearables than Americans-- in a poll of 13003 European and 4500 American consumers, just 32% of Europeans see themselves buying a wearable while Americans clock at 45%. As for the devices in question, potential customers are mainly interested in smartwatches and wrist-worn fitness trackers.


IDC: Tablets Slow Down, iPad Declines

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According to IDC the 2014 global tablet market sees "massive deceleration" with growth slowing down to 7.2% (from 52.5% in 2013) as tablet lifecycles stretch further, becoming more like those of PCs than smartphones.

The analyst also says 2014 is the year where the iPad sees its first full year of shipment decline, making a reflection of the market as a whole.

IDC Tablets forecast

"The tablet market continues to be impacted by a few major trends happening in relevant markets," IDC remarks. "In the early stages of the tablet market, device lifecycles were expected to resemble those of smartphones, with replacement occurring every 2-3 years. What has played out instead is that many tablet owners are holding onto their devices for more than 3 years and in some instances more than 4 years. We believe the two major drivers for longer than expected tablet lifecycles are legacy software support for older products, especially within iOS, and the increased use of smartphones for a variety of computing tasks."


Where are Europe's Clumsiest Mobile Users?

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According to protection plan providers SquareTrade, Greek, Italian and Spanish mobile phone users are the clumsiest in Europe, at least judging from data gathered from 18 countries over the last 2 years.

Mobile stumbleThe study shows 40% of Greek smartphone users damaging their devices during what are kindly described as "stumbling incidents" during the study period, while close behind 39.8% of Italian and 38.9% of Spanish users do the same. The least clumsy European country is Poland with an accident rate of only 24.3%, followed by Switzerland (26.3%).

Germany comes in 12th place, while the UK accident takes 6th place following 4th and 5th placing Norway and Ireland.