Future of wearable in MEA looks bright

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The future of the wearables market in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) looks bright as the smart devices witnessed a 65.3% year-on-year growth in shipments in the first quarter of 2016

 According to global technology research and consulting firm International Data Corporation (IDC), the wearables market may grow at a compound annual rate of 20.1% during the 2016–2020 period.
This growth will primarily be driven by increased adoption of smart watches and wristbands as these devices evolve to become more sophisticated than simple health and fitness trackers.

IDC tracked seven major countries across MEA, and according to it, shipments into these countries totalled 419,925 units in Q1 2016.

Smart wearables, which are devices capable of running third-party applications, are still finding their way into the market although many consumers view the devices as too expensive. As such, most of the growth in this segment of the market stems from the increasing popularity of smart watches.

Basic wearables, which are not capable of running third-party applications, continue to dominate the overall MEA wearables market with 71% unit share as against 29% for smart wearables.

This dominance can be attributed to the growing popularity of fitness bands, which have been flooding into the market for a while now, proving to be a big hit with consumers.

“The growth of the wearables market provides a rare ray of light amid an overall downturn for personal computing in the region,” a senior research analyst at IDC Middle East, Africa and Turkey, was quoted as saying by Arab News.

According to the analyst, this growth has been spurred by a number of factors, including declining selling prices, new product launches, the entry of lower-cost wearables into the market and the introduction of sleeker designs.

To keep pace with the fast changes taking place in the market, IDC has launched its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, which helps vendors looking to enter this market, promote new product developments, or accelerate the growth of their wearables divisions.

The tracker includes details on products, vendors and technology trends at both global and country levels as well as historical market data and five-year forecasts.

The growth will be further augmented by the launch of new wearable products in the clothing, eyewear, earwear categories, among others, another senior research analyst at IDC said.

Vendors are likely to step up their new product launches in the MEA market, as share gain becomes the name of the game. New operating systems and versatile pools of applications may also emerge to support these new devices.

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets.

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