The Middle East and Africa (MEA) is another hot area for wearable sales, according to the latest figures from IDC, a market research firm.
Sales totalled 482,000 for the second quarter of 2016—which starts at April 1 and finishes June 30—a 66 percent increase on the same quarter last year.
Basic wearable devices, which are unable to load third-party applications, are the best sellers in the MEA region. The wearable category noticed an 80 percent increase in sales compared to last year, according to IDC. For comparison, smart wearable devices, which can connect to the internet and load other apps, only noticed a 40 percent increase over the same period.
“Fitness trackers continue to make up much of the market’s volume and are proving popular for the value for money they offer,” said Nakul Dogra, senior research analyst for at IDC MEA and Turkey. “Price points continue to fall, which is further fueling the growth of these devices, with basic wearables accounting for 70.3 percent of overall MEA shipments in the second quarter of 2016.
Smart wearables are also gaining traction in the region, but uptake is not so strong as consumers don’t yet perceive much added value in opting for more expensive smart devices.”
Growth coming from early adopters
IDC believes the current growth in the wearable market has come from early adopters, who see the tech as the next big thing. As wearables enter into the mainstream, more affordable options are expected to emerge.
This might be perfect for the MEA region, which has a lower disposable income on average when compared to Western Europe and North America, where wearables are most popular.
IDC expects a 33 percent rise in wearable sales in all of 2016, mostly coming from basic wearables. That lower figure essentially means the MEA region will not see as large a sales discrepancy in future quarters, according to IDC, but will still see some growth over 2015.