May 18, 2020

What state is the Middle East wearables market in?

Wearable technology
Bizclik Editor
4 min
What state is the Middle East wearables market in?

The wearables growth story continues unabated in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, with shipments reaching an all-time high of 746,000 units in the final quarter of 2016, according to the latest figures compiled by International Data Corporation (IDC).

The global ICT research and consulting services firm says shipments were up 29 percent year on year in Q4 2016, spurred by new launches from leading vendors and the entrance of new players to the market.

When looking at 2016 as a whole, IDC's data shows that wearables shipments for the MEA region were up 52.2 percent year on year. This was primarily driven by the strong performance of low-cost basic wearables (i.e. devices that do not support third-party applications), which grew 67.9 percent year on year in 2016. The growth for smart wearable devices was not quite as spectacular, with shipments up 20.7 percent over the same period.

"Health and fitness are the only areas currently addressed by wearable tech, and these are areas that smart and basic wearables perform equally well in," said Nakul Dogra, a senior research analyst for personal computing, systems, and infrastructure solutions at IDC MEA. "As such, users do not receive any incremental benefit in terms of functionality from investing the additional cost required for a smart wearable device. There is therefore a need for wearables to evolve from basic functionalities like counting steps and analysing sleeping patterns to more complex functionalities that rely on the use of third-party apps. Such apps are clearly underutilized in the current scenario, which is limiting the growth of smart wearables."

Besides functionality, Dogra also anticipates a shift in the way wearables are bought. "With fashion hogging much of the limelight, utility is being pushed into the shadows," he adds. "As such, sales of wearables will increasingly be driven by fashion labels that are partnering with tech brands, a move that will help take wearables to a new audience and broaden the retail of these gadgets beyond traditional electronics stores and into fashion outlets. New product launches are expected in the clothing segment in 2017 and this will inevitably accentuate the focus on fashion within the wearables space."

IDC expects the MEA wearables market to grow 24.1 percent year on year in 2017 to reach a total of 2.9 million units. And looking further ahead, the latest forecast shows the market expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.3 percent over the 2016–2021 period.

"The wearables market is continuously evolving," says Dogra. "Going forward, we expect the smart watch space to become further segmented, with each brand/product catering to a niche audience (i.e., kids watches, sports watches, luxury watches, fashion watches) and addressing the particular needs of specific users in a more effective way. Currently, the majority of smart watches are generic in nature, with a single device trying to cater to the multiple needs of a varied set of consumers, often with poor results. This segmentation is therefore a positive move for the wearables industry, with customer satisfaction and stickiness likely to increase if these niche products are able to address their needs better."

Dogra also believes that wearables vendors must look to differentiate their products from smartphones and create a compelling need for wearables within the broader ecosystem of gadgets. "Without this differentiation, wearables will stagnate and be viewed as little more than fashion accessories for your smartphone," he says. "Wearables have the potential to form an integral part of the Internet of Things ecosystem, so it is imperative that vendors come up with innovative solutions that move beyond health and fitness to enable consumers to perform day-to-day tasks in an easier way."

To keep pace with the changes taking place in this fast-moving market, IDC has launched its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, which assists vendors that are looking to enter this market, promote new product developments, or accelerate the growth of their wearables divisions.

The tracker includes details on products, vendors, and technology trends at both global and country levels, as well as historical market data and five-year forecasts. The report also provides valuable insights into the adoption of core wearable features, such as form factor, connectivity, sensors, operating systems, and applications, and offers invaluable assistance to tech firms looking to develop successful long-term business strategies for wearable devices.

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Jun 16, 2021

Pure Storage: supporting the digital transformation journey

British Army
Pure Storage
2 min
Driving competitive advantage by enabling data to deliver positive business outcomes.

Pure Storage helps clients drive their competitive advantage by enabling data to deliver positive business outcomes such as evidence-based decision making using real-time analytics. “Working with the British Army, as part of an ecosystem of best in class solutions suppliers, Pure is providing private cloud services on-premise but also has offerings via AWS and Azure, and at container level,” explains Colin Atkinson Pure’s UK Public Sector Account Director.

Digitalisation

“Pure Storage is supporting the digitalisation of the army as part of Programme THEIA,” reveals Colonel Mark Cornell, Assistant Head of Army Digital Services. “THEIA is how we change our ways of working to adopt more efficient digital processes. Technology is actually the easy piece of the puzzle; the challenge is cultural and behavioral change”. The army is a conservative organisation by nature, so how do we get its people - civilian, military, and contractors - to adopt the appropriate ways of working we want to deploy? 

“We move away from labour intensive processes, and move further up the value chain to get the human adding value where they should be in the decision-making process.”

Data Revolution

We’re in the midst of a data revolution highlights Atkinson. “We’re seeing an exponential growth in data analytics, which can create huge headaches for large organisations, or it can create massive opportunities. Data will be the oil that fuels this revolution….”

It’s a revolution that’s been gathering pace; each year, since 2016, 90% of the world’s data has been created in the previous two years. Atkinson also points out that 99.5% of historical data goes largely unanalyzed: “The corollary for large organisations is that if you don’t have a data strategy, you could end up with very large, very cold data silos and miss the opportunity to create that competitive advantage. By partnering with Pure we can help clients develop a data-enabling strategy.”.”

Future-Proofing

“We’re going to see a far greater use of data analytics in the British Army and across organisations in general,” forecasts Cornell. “We’re aiming for level three and level four predictive and prescriptive analytics approaches that start using Machine Learning and AI to give us deeper insights from our data. And as we move forward with Programme THEIA we see ourselves migrating our workloads and data into the cloud, making the use of the elasticity of hyperscale clouds. But also, protecting our data in the appropriate way if we wish to keep it on-prem and use it, and secure it in that way. We’re part of that cloud revolution that's going on through defense, but also across the wider public sector.”

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