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Wearable sales to top 17 million in 2014, analysts predict

The sale of wearable tech could top 17 million by the end of the year, predicts market analyst Canalys.

A new Canalys report suggests that over 17 million wearable devices will be sold during 2014, driven by strong smartwatch sales forecasts.

Although currently the wearable market is still small, Canalys predicts that this will change by the end of the year, mostly due to a prediction of 8 million smartwatch sales by the year end.

“Though currently a relatively small market serving fitness enthusiasts, wearable bands represent a massive opportunity in the medical and wellness segment,” reads the Canalys report. “2014 will be the year that wearables become a key consumer technology, as the smart band segment is estimated to reach 8 million annual shipments.”

The report outlines that combined sales of fitness bands and smartwatches reached 1.6 million in the second half of 2013, helped by the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony SmartWatch 2.

“Samsung launched the Galaxy Gear with a major marketing push that gained significant consumer interest. Shipments of the device took Samsung to the top of the smart band category, though disappointing sell-through will necessitate more promotional activity in coming months,” said Chris Jones, VP and Principal Analyst at Canalys.

At CES 2014, there was a sudden surge in the wearable technology sphere with multiple companies unveiling their own wrist-worn fitness trackers and basic smartwatches.

“Basic band vendors have greater wearable expertise and have shipped greater numbers to date, but smart bands are already growing faster”, added Jones.

2014 may well be a big year for wearable technology with the general launch of Google Glass and a potential Apple iWatch release on the horizon.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy Gear vs Sony Smartwatch 2

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