The research study covers the present scenario and growth prospects of the global wearable apps market for 2016-2020. The report segments the market by wearable devices into three segments, which are smart glasses, fitness bands, and smart watches. The smart watches segment accounted for over 50% of the market share in 2015.
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Technavio media and entertainment analysts highlight the following four factors that are contributing to the growth of the global wearable apps market:
- Availability of cost-effective fitness apps
- Increase in number of lifestyle diseases
- Decline in cost of wearable devices
- Growing demand for sports and fitness apps
Availability of cost-effective fitness apps
Apps are available in both free and paid versions. The installation of paid apps requires a one-time payment. “Fitness apps are gaining high traction among individuals seeking a healthy lifestyle. Many fitness conscious individuals may not enroll in gyms or health clubs due to budget and time constraints. This has led to the introduction of sports and fitness apps, which are relatively economical,” says Ujjwal Doshi, a lead analyst at Technavio for Internet and e-Commerce research. These apps track the daily workout of an individual and suggest food habits and exercises as per said individual’s lifestyle, reducing the need for fitness trainers or dieticians.
Increase in number of lifestyle diseases
The demand for wearable devices is increasing because of the growing number of health-related issues. The number of diseases is increasing, especially in the aging population, owing to lifestyle changes. The aging population is more prone to lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer's. Globally, about 380 million people in the age group of 20-79 years are expected to have diabetes by 2025. 30% of the adult population showed symptoms of hypertension in 2015. Thus, the increase in lifestyle diseases is leading to the higher adoption of wearable apps for smartwatches and fitness bands.
Decline in cost of wearable devices
The cost of fitness bands has been declining at a steady rate over the past few years. In addition, the cost of smartwatches has also witnessed a decline from a maximum price of close to USD 350 in 2014 to USD 199 in 2015. “Most of the wearable device manufacturers reduced the ASP of devices to make products more affordable for users and to increase sales. The price was also reduced to attract a larger target consumer segment and to sustain in the competitive market,” says Ujjwal.
The competition in the market is increasing with the entry of several startups and technology companies in the market. Moreover, companies launch newer versions of existing products every six months, therefore, they reduce the costs of the existing versions to ensure that they are sold thus paving the way for newer versions. Technavio expects the price of several fitness bands to decline further over the next few years, making them more affordable for end-users.
Growing demand for sports and fitness apps
Sports and fitness apps have become an integral part of the life of millions of mobile users. Such apps help and guide users to maintain a healthy lifestyle and fitness regime. The three app categories that are in high demand are running trackers, heart rate monitors, and multi-sport and activity trackers. Many free sports and fitness apps are available in app stores. Some of the top 20 fitness apps include Argus, UP by Jawbone, MapMyFitness, UA Recorder, Endomondo, and RunKeeper. The growing demand for sports and fitness apps is driving the global smartwatch and fitness band wearable apps market.
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