Device market forecast to soar over next four years

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Apr 15, 2014 - Page 13

The global market for wearable devices will grow substantially over the next four years as development is now focused on such devices, a report by the Institute for Information Industry said.

This year, the worldwide wearable device market is expected to reach US$6 billion and by 2018, is to climb to US$20.6 billion, the government-backed institute said in a research note released yesterday.

It said local companies should tap into the smart device market early, in light of Taiwan’s strong information and communication technology sector, which would give the country an advantage.

The wearable device market is still in a nascent stage in terms of functions and services, the institute said.

It is “a new market extremely suitable for investment,” it said.

Market researcher International Data Corp (IDC) made a similar prediction, saying that global shipments of wearable computing devices are expected to triple this year to more than 19 million units.

The growth will continue over the next few years at a compound annual rate of 78.4 percent to reach about 112 million units in 2018, IDC said in a research report dated for Thursday.

The Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI, 工研院) also said there was great potential in this market, especially for devices with healthcare functions and services aimed at the nation’s aging society.

Global revenues from healthcare-related wearable devices reached US$860 million last year and are expected to rise over the next four years at a compound annual rate of 28.1 percent, to reach about US$3 billion in 2018, the ITRI said in a report.

Asia will be a front-runner, with an even higher compound annual growth rate of 33.9 percent, the institute said, citing a February forecast by BCC Research.

Such devices need to be small, light and low in energy consumption, the ITRI said, suggesting that developers use the data collected to provide better services and analyses to attract shoppers.