The number of wearable payment technology devices worldwide will increase by 38% by the end of 2016, a report from the International Data Corporation states. The Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report found that the demand for wearable payment technology is rising, with over 30 million extra units estimated to be ordered this year.
Wearable payment technology uses the established contactless payment system to allow consumers to make payments in shops without using their credit or debit card or mobile phone.
The majority of the 110 million unit estimate consists of smartwatches and wristbands, with only 9.8 million wearable payment technology units expected to be sales in clothes, eyewear and ‘hearable’ devices.
The popular Apple Watch is expected to have the greatest market share amongst the smartwatch category, totalling almost 50% in 2016. A smartwatch developed by Android will have the second largest total of devices sold in 2016, predicted to be 21.4% of units worldwide.
It was also announced that the number of wearable payment technology devices will total 200 million units worldwide in just three years, and in 2020 the figure is expected to exceed 237 million devices.
The report notes the demand for ‘smarter watches’, traditional mechanical style watches with some technology capability, such as sleep or fitness trackers. The IDC believes that simpler technologies built into well-known branded watches will have a strong uptake by consumers who don’t require the full app suite encased on the current smartwatches.
Researchers from the IDC believes that smartwatches are still in their early stages of capability, and expect to see increased functionality over the next few years.
Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s wearables team, stated: “We expect to see major changes, with smartwatches that actually look like watches, user interfaces that are easier than swipes and gestures, applications that rival those on our smartphones, and connections to networks, systems, and other devices. This puts pressure on smartwatch platforms to develop further from where they are today.”
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