Apple’s bet on wearables will continue to pay off in the coming years

Apple’s Wearables division, which includes devices like the Apple Watch and AirPods (and Beats-branded headphones), is already remarkably successful for the company. But at least one research firm says things are going to get even better for the company.

According to research firm Gartner (via¬†The Motley Fool), consumer spending on the niche market of wearables will jump up to a whopping $51.6 billion in 2020. Compared to 2019 that’s an increase of 27 percent. Interestingly, the research firm says that the majority of people buying wearable devices in 2020 will be buying their first device in the category, spurred by the overall improvement in the technology baked into them.

These discrete and nearly invisible wearables will particularly increase acceptance among reluctant end users,” Alan Antin, the senior research director at Gartner, said in a press release.

Apple already dominates the wearables market thanks to the Apple Watch, its AirPods truly wireless headphones, and the Beats-branded headphone lineup. As noted in the original report this is particularly exciting for Apple as a company because it means that the wearables leader has even more untapped customers to reach, and according to Gartner a lot of those customers are going to be making a wearables purchase in 2020.

Smartwatches are the main driver of wearable tech’s growth, with worldwide sales expected to climb 34% next year to $22.8 billion. When looking at shipment volumes, ear-worn devices follow as the second-largest category, while headsets take the No. 2 spot by revenue. Next year, 86 million smartwatches and 70 million ear-worn devices will be shipped, according to Gartner’s estimates.

Looking beyond 2020, Gartner says that customer spending on wearables will jump yet again, up to $62.9 billion in 2021. That’s an increase of 55% compared to 2019.

Apple continues to refresh and, in most cases, improve the experience for its wearables lineup. The Apple Watch Series 5, introduced in 2019, introduces an always-on display while striving to retain the same battery life as the Series 4. Even earlier this year Apple introduced AirPods with a wireless charging case. And then, just recently, the brand new AirPods Pro introduced active noise cancellation and water- and sweat-resistance to the truly wireless design.

But the wearables market is also saturated with competitors. Google may be a serious contender in 2020 and 2021 thanks to its recent purchase of Fitbit — if the company actually plans on doing anything on the hardware front following that acquisition.

If you don’t already own a wearables product from Apple, are you planning on making a purchase soon?