IDC: Smart wearable shipments to hit 33M in 2015, take off next year

According to a new estimate from research firm IDC, 72.1 million wearable devices will be shipped in 2015, which would represent a 173.3 percent increase from the 26.4 million units shipped in 2014. Shipment volumes are expected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.6 percent over the five-year forecast period, reaching 155.7 million units shipped in 2019.

IDC expects smart wearables, which are those capable of running third-party apps, to really start ramping up in 2016. In 2015, IDC thinks that 33.1 million smart wearables will ship worldwide, up from 4.2 million in 2014. IDC expects smart wearables shipments will increase to 89.4 million in 2019.

"Smart wearables like the Apple Watch and Microsoft's Hololens are indicative of an upcoming change in computing, and the transition from basic to smart wearables opens up a slew of opportunities for vendors, app developers, and accessory makers," IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in other wearables news, Intel announced Wednesday it acquired privately held Canadian smart-eyewear maker Recon Instruments. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "This acquisition gives Intel a talented, experienced wearable computing team that will help us expand the market for head mounted display products and technologies," Intel said.

In Apple Watch news, Slice Intelligence, a research firm that looks at electronic receipts, estimated that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has sold 2.79 million as of mid-June. Apple has not said how many units of the watch it has sold. Article