Health, fitness devices to make up half of all wireless accessories shipped by 2018

By Aditi Pai
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Shipments of app-enabled smart wireless accessories will approach 170 million by the end of 2018, compared to over 18 million this year, according to a new report from Juniper Research.

Wireless accessories refers to the hardware that links to the smartphone, often via short-range wireless technology such as WiFi or Bluetooth. Some devices considered include smartwatches and smart glasses. The market entry of players such as Apple and Google will further drive the adoption of premium wearable devices, and at the same time publicizing and educating consumers, according to Juniper.

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The report also found that the fitness and healthcare sector together will account for over 50 percent of the devices shipped this year and a multi-channel strategy is essential to gain traction in the race to secure a place in this new market. At that time, Juniper predicts, the market will be dominated by consumer electronics and fitness accessories, although in the longer run healthcare smart wireless accessories are expected to gain most traction.

A few weeks ago, a report from IHS found installs for sports and fitness apps, which usually accompany device accessories, are expected to grow to 248 million in 2017 from 156 million in 2012, a 60 percent rise. In May, IMS Research a subsidiary of IHS, conducted a survey that predicted sports and fitness monitors, a category with some overlap with wireless accessories, will hit 56.2 million global shipments in 2017, up from 43.8 million this year.

Additionally, an IMS survey last year found smartphone owners who exercise at least once a week and are interested in sports and fitness apps are are also willing to buy a fitness sensor that connects to an app on his or her phone. IMS interviewed around 400 consumers in the United Kingdom and the US for this survey. About 62.3 percent of the respondents said they were prepared to buy such a sports sensor.