Wearable sales rise 16.7 percent as smartwatches drive revenue growth

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Wearable sales are set to rise 16.7 percent in 2017, driven by demand for Bluetooth headsets and smartwatches.

The industry will shift 310.4 million units in 2017, according to predictions from Gartner, netting sales worth $30.5 billion.

Vendors will sell 41.5 million smartwatches, up 20 percent, accounting for 13.4 percent of total sales.

However, smartwatches will generate $9.3 billion in revenue, 30.5 percent of the total.

Gartner said sales of smartwatches will hit 81 million by 2021, accounting for 16 percent of total wearable sales. By that point they will generate revenue of $17.4 billion, the highest of any wearable category.

Meanwhile, headsets will continue to account for the largest proportion of sales, 48 percent of the total, rising 16.7 percent year-on-year to reach 150 million units in 2017.

Sales of sports watches and other fitness monitors are set to grow 0.9 percent and 0.4 percent to 21.43 million and 55.7 million respectively. Sales of wristbands will grow 26.1 percent to 44.1 million while sales of head-mounted displays will rise 36.8 percent to 22.01 million.

Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner, said: "The overall [average selling price] of the smartwatch category will drop from $223.25 in 2017 to $214.99 in 2021 as higher volumes lead to slight reductions in manufacturing and component costs, but strong brands such as Apple and Fossil will keep pricing consistent with price bands of traditional watches.”

Earlier this week, Gartner research found smartphone sales in Western Europe grew in the second quarter of 2017 on the back of demand for new flagship devices, new research has found. The region saw 36 million devices sold in the quarter, a 13 percent year-on-year rise.