Technology research firm Gartner is forecasting that 274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016, an increase of 18.4% from 232.0 million units in 2015. Sales of wearable devices will generate revenue of $28.7 billion in 2016. Smartwatches are predicted to comprise $11.5 billion of the total wearable device spend. The total will be distributed across a number of product categories, and within each product category, a number of brands and devices will continue to fight for market share.
The diversity in devices being purchased can be seen through recent research from Canalys, which shows Apple Watch accounted for over 12 million units sold in 2015. This represents two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments. “Basic bands” exceeded 37 million shipments for the year. Fitbit set a quarterly shipments record as it comfortably led the category. Xiaomi held second place, shipping 12 million Mi Bands during 2015.
To embrace the diversity of devices being purchased by consumers, employers must implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy for employee wellness programs. This allows employers to save money by not having to pay for devices as well as allow their employees to use the devices that they have already come to love. This is part of a consumer wellness strategy that focuses on enabling employees to take ownership in their own health from the very beginning by being able choose the technologies that make the most sense for them. Each individual is different and consumer wellness technologies allow those differences to be respected in all elements of a corporate wellness program.