Forrester: Nearly 1 in 3 Americans will use a wearable device by 2021

By 2021, sales in the US will reach $9.8B, with smartwatches accounting for more than a third of devices sold, the research firm projects.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Interest in smartwatches waned in the second quarter of this year, but wearables are still on track to become fairly common in the US, Forrester projects.

By 2021, 29 percent Americans will be sporting wearable devices, the research firm forecasts in a new report, up from 18 percent in 2015. Sales will grow from $4.2 billion in 2015 to $9.8 billion in 2021, the report says. More than a third of the wearable devices sold by 2021 will be smartwatches, Forrester says, with sales hitting $21 million.

Falling prices, as well as societal factors like initiatives that encourage health and fitness tracking, will drive growth, according to the report. Forrester also identifies issues that could keep the rate of adoption relatively low: Wearables considered non-essential devices, and the data gathered with wearables isn't always used to deliver useful insights. Additionally, wearables have yet to really connect with other devices in the Internet of Things ecosystem.

Still, wearables offer opportunities for businesses to gather all kinds of data from customers, as well as new ways to engage with customers. "While wearables are just one touchpoint in the vast connected products ecosystem, they will influence consumer engagement strategies and an increasing number of mobile moments," the report says.

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