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Spending on wearables predicted to hit $52 billion next year as prices fall

Key Points
  • Gartner says that end-users set to spend the most money on smartwatches and smart clothing.
  • For this year, global end-user spending on wearables is set to hit $41 billion, according to the forecast.
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Global end-user spending on wearables will hit $52 billion in 2020, according to a new forecast from research firm Gartner, an increase of 27% compared to this year.

Gartner said that end-users would spend the most money on smartwatches and smart clothing, with spending on these items increasing by 34% and 52%, respectively. For this year, global end-user spending on wearables is set to amount to $41 billion.

Wearable technologies represent part of the burgeoning internet of things (IOT) sector in which smart, connected devices gather data and "talk" to one another. For its part, the European Commission has described the internet of things as merging "physical and virtual worlds, creating smart environments."

The wearables market is an increasingly crowded and competitive place, with major companies now jostling for position.

"More users coming into the smartwatch segment are replacing wristbands with smartwatches," Ranjit Atwal, senior research director at Gartner, said in a statement Wednesday.

"While brand leaders Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy Watch command premium pricing in the smartwatch segment, lower-priced players such as Xiaomi and Huawei will counterbalance high-priced smartwatches with lower cost smartwatches," Atwal added, stating that the average selling prices of smartwatches was expected to decline by 4.5% between 2020 and 2021.

According to Gartner's forecast, shipments of smartwatches will come to 86 million units in 2020, with shipments of ear-worn wearables totaling 70 million units.

Drivers of greater wearable adoption include consumers new to the market; the improved accuracy of sensors; "advances in miniaturization"; and better protection of user data, Gartner said.