id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Apple Watch could help the wearables market grow
in the next several years. James Martin/CNET The wearables market is set for rapid growth, due mainly to the gadgets you put on your wrist.
Wristwear -- products that include everything from smartwatches to fitness activity trackers -- will dominate the wearables market over the next several years, according to a new forecast from research firm IDC.
Total worldwide wearable shipments will reach 45.7 million this year, up from 19.6 million last year, IDC said Monday. Nearly 90 percent of that will be in the form of wristwear, Health
at 40.7 million units.Modular products
-- devices that can be worn anywhere on the body with a clip or strap -- will nab less than 6 percent of the market with 2.6 million shipments.
The big spark for the growth will come from the Apple Watch, a smartwatch that goes on sale next month. Consumers as well as the tech industry have been anticipating the electronic giant's first foray into the wearables market since Apple CEO Tim Cook debuted the device during a star-studded event in September. Pricing for the device starts at $349 for the basic Apple Watch Sport
version and goes up to $17,000 for the premium Apple Watch Edition. It goes on sale April 24 in nine countries.
"The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general," said Ramon Llamas, research manager with IDC's wearables team.
In February, research firm CCS Insight offered a similar prediction, saying that the Apple Watch "will be instrumental in taking the wearables market to the next level of growth," with worldwide wearable sales jumping in 2015 to, by its count, 75 million units worldwide.
Smartwatches have been available for several years from companies like Pebble, Motorola, Samsung and LG, but none has yet been able to attract widespread consumer interest. The Apple Watch will also compete against fitness band rivals like FitBit and Jawbone with its own fitness-tracking capabilities.