IDC: Wearables a 'ray of light' in MEA computing market

IDC indicated that wearable devices are proving highly popular in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), with device shipments to seven major countries in the region increasing by 65.3 per cent year-on-year to 419,925 units in the first quarter of 2016.

IDC analyst Nakul Dogra noted that the growth of the wearables market provides "a rare ray of light" amid an overall downturn for personal computing in the region.

"This growth has been spurred by a number of factors, including declining average selling prices, new product launches, the entrance of lower-cost wearables, and the introduction of sleeker designs," Dogra said.

Basic wearables, which are not capable of running third-party applications, continue to dominate the overall MEA wearables market with a 71 per cent unit share. Smart wearables, which are classified as devices capable of running third-party applications, are still considered too expensive in this market and account for just a 29 per cent share.

Most of the growth in smart wearables stems from the increasing popularity of smart watches, while fitness bands are the most popular devices in the basic segment.

Looking ahead, IDC believes that the wearables market has a bright future in MEA and has forecast a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.1 per cent for the 2016–2020 period.

It expects that 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 analyst Fouad Rafiq Charakla added that growth will be further augmented by the launch of new wearable products in the clothing, eyewear and ear wear categories, among others.

"IDC expects vendors to step up their new product launches in the MEA market as share gain becomes the name of the game. We also anticipate new operating systems and versatile pools of applications to emerge in order to support all these new devices," said Charakla.

For more:
- see this IDC report

Related articles:
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IDC: Wearables shipments to reach 214M globally in 2020
Ericsson: Safety concerns will drive wearables market
IDC: Wearables shipments increase by 67.2% worldwide in Q1 2016
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