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Recap on the Development of the IC Industry for Wearable Devices in 2016

  • ID: 3980853
  • Report
  • 26 pages
  • Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC)
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The Wearable Devices Market Expected to Exceed 120 million units in 2016


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Since 2013, startups and leading smartphone vendors have launched a variety of smart wristbands and smartwatches for health monitoring and sports tracking, or as an extension of smartphones. Driven by their ease of operation and real-time monitoring capabilities, the wearable market has grown dramatically. As branded vendors have different product positioning strategies, wearable system design and chip adoption has varied. This report analyzes the current status of the wearable market and the development of the IC industry for wearable electronics, leading wearable device vendors, and Taiwan's IC industry.

List of Topics

  • Projected development of the worldwide wearable markets, particularly the smartwatch and smart wristband, including market share by vendor and by OS
  • Overview of the IC industry for wearable devices, touching on system structures of smartwatch and wristband, MCU and processor market, and MEMS sensors
  • Highlights of leading vendors of ICs for wearable devices, including Qualcomm, MediaTek, Intel, and STMicroelectronics
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1. Worldwide Wearable Market
1.1 Continued Growth for Worldwide Wearable Market
1.2 Development of Smart Wristband/Smartwatch Market
1.2.1 Slowdown in Market Growth
1.2.2 Brands' Market Share Affected by Apple Watch
1.3 Operating Systems of Smart Wristbands and Smartwatches
1.4 RTOS Enables Differentiation in Applications

2. Development of the IC Industry for Wearable Devices
2.1 System Structure of Wearables
2.1.1 Adoption of MCU in Smart Wristbands for Simplified System Structure
2.1.2 High Similarity in System Design between Smartwatches and Smartphones
2.2 Development of Wearable MCU/Processor Market
2.2.1 Close Relationship between Brands and MCU/Processor Suppliers
2.2.2 MCU Vendors' Competitive Advantages
2.2.3 Low Market Share of Android OS Deters Leading Communications Chip Vendors' Entry
2.3 Development of Wearable Sensors
2.3.1 MEMS Sensors for Tracking Sports Performance
2.3.2 MEMS Sensors Develop towards Higher Level of Integration
2.3.3 Integrated MEMS Sensor Solutions Have More Edges

3. Leading Vendors of ICs for Wearable Devices
3.1 Qualcomm Launches Purpose-built Chips to Meet Market Demand
3.1.1 Snapdragon Wear 2100 Supports Android Wear Systems
3.1.2 Snapdragon Wear 1100 for Smart Wristbands
3.2 MediaTek Launch Several ICs for Wearables to Test Market Demand
3.3 Intel Launches x86-based Quark SE for Wearables
3.4 STMicroelectronics Provides Turnkey Solution for Different Wearables
3.4.1 ST's Microcontrollers Target High-speed and Low-power Products
3.4.2 ST Increases Focus on Integrated MEMS Sensors
3.4.3 Bosch Sensortec Integrates Computing Capabilities into Sensors for Ultra-low-power Performance

4. Perspectives
4.1 Communications IC Vendors' Opportunities in Professional Smartwatch Market
4.2 Intense Competition between MCU and Sensor Vendors
4.3 Opportunities in Professional Wearable Market

Glossary of Terms

List of Companies

List of Tables
Table 1: Branded Vendors' MCU/Application Processor Suppliers in 2015
Table 2: MCU/Application Processor Vendors and Their Major Products
Table 3: Qualcomm's Application ICs for Wearables
Table 4: MediaTek's Application ICs for Wearables
Table 5: Intel's Application ICs for Wearables

List of Figures
Figure 1: Wearable Market Shipment Volume, 2014 - 2017
Figure 2: Shipment Share of Smart Wearables, 2015 - 2017
Figure 3: Shipment Volume of Worldwide Smart Wristband/Smartwatch Market, 2014 - 2017
Figure 4: Smart Wristband/Smartwatch Market Share by Vendor, 2014 - 2015
Figure 5: Smart Wristband/Smartwatch Market Share by OS, 2014 - 2015
Figure 6: System Structure of Smart Wristbands
Figure 7: System Structure of Smartwatches
Figure 8: Smartwatch/Smart Wristband Market Share by MCU and Processor Vendor, 2014 - 2016

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  • ADI
  • Apple
  • Austria Microsystems
  • Borqs
  • Bosch
  • Dialog
  • Edison
  • EMC
  • ESPN
  • Fitbit
  • Fossil
  • Freescale
  • Galileo
  • Garmin
  • Generalplus
  • Google
  • Holtek
  • InvenSense
  • Jawbone
  • Maxim Integrated
  • MediaTek
  • Nuvoton
  • NXP
  • Oakley
  • Pebble
  • Pixart Imaging
  • Qualcomm
  • Quark
  • Samsung
  • Sensortec
  • SiRF
  • Sonix Technology
  • Sony
  • STMicroelectronics
  • TAG Heuer
  • Texas Instrument
  • Weltrend
  • Xiaom
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Primary research with a holistic, cross-domain approach

The exhaustive primary research methods are central to the value that the analyst delivers. A combination of questionnaires and on-site visits to the major manufacturers provides a first view of the latest data and trends. Information is subsequently validated by interviews with the manufacturers' suppliers and customers, covering a holistic industry value chain. This process is backed up by a cross-domain team-based approach, creating an interlaced network across numerous interrelated components and system-level devices to ensure statistical integrity and provide in-depth insight.

Complementing primary research is a running database and secondary research of industry and market information. Dedicated research into the macro-environmental trends shaping the ICT industry also allows the analyst to forecast future development trends and generate foresight perspectives. With more than 20 years of experience and endeavors in research, the methods and methodologies include:


  • Component supplier interviews
  • System supplier interviews
  • User interviews
  • Channel interviews
  • IPO interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Consumer surveys
  • Production databases
  • Financial data
  • Custom databases


  • Technology forecasting and assessment
  • Product assessment and selection
  • Product life cycles
  • Added value analysis
  • Market trends
  • Scenario analysis
  • Competitor analysis