Wearables, smartphones to 'dominate' Christmas

Huawei smart watch. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Huawei smart watch. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – Despite fears that the smartphone market is tanking, a research firm believes that the consumer market will show healthy growth as shoppers spend cash on tech during the holiday season.

According to Gartner, the smartphones will be a hot Christmas purchase.

“Smartphones and wearables will be on top of the shopping list this season. We expect to end 2015 with 14.5% year-on-year smartphone growth, with 1.4 billion units shipped globally,” said Annette Zimmermann, research director at Gartner.

That bullish view differs from the International Data Corporation, which suggests that the slowing Chinese economy will reduce the smartphone market to just 9.8% growth in 2015.

Zimmerman acknowledged the Chinese economic slowdown, but argued that consumers would increasingly shift to smart wearable devices.

“While tablets have been popular gifts the past couple years, some of the excitement and spending will shift to wearables this season. Our user survey revealed that adoption of fitness trackers in the US nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015.”

Fitness trackers

READ: SA's online festive spending patterns revealed

Apple hinted at the success of its wearable soon after its launch.

"We had an amazing quarter, with iPhone revenue up 59% over last year, strong sales of Mac, all-time record revenue from services, driven by the App Store, and a great start for Apple Watch," said CEO Tim Cook at the time.

Zimmerman said that fitness focused wearables would make a strong impact this year.

“Fitness trackers will still outsell smart watches, partly because of their lower price tags, but also because the use case for those devices is clearer for most consumers than a smart watch.

“Among the popular gifts this season will be various Fitbit models, The Apple Watch Sport, Jawbone Up, Moto 360 and Pebble. Both Samsung and Lenovo had special Black Friday offers for their smartwatch products, so that could help sales as well,” she added.

At the recent IFA in Berlin, Garmin revealed that their Vivoactive device was dedicated to athletes.

"This watch is aimed at tri-athletes, runners and sports people," a spokesperson told Fin24.


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