2023 Will See Continued Growth for Wearables, But Not With 5G Connectivity

By Taryn Engmark

Associate Editor

Embedded Computing Design

January 19, 2023


2023 Will See Continued Growth for Wearables, But Not With 5G Connectivity

In its whitepaper, 74 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2023, analysts from ABI Research have identified 41 trends that will shape the technology market and 33 others that, despite receiving plenty of speculation and commentary, are less likely to move the needle over the next twelve months.

“War, inflation, political upheaval, energy shortages, and the ongoing fallout from a global pandemic are still creating a persistent sense of uncertainty," says Stuart Carlaw, Chief Research Officer at ABI Research. "Labor shortages, supply chain issues, falling consumer sentiment, and rising input costs are squeezing many markets. However, the common aspect between all of these is that technology can either be the anchor dragging down operations or the mainsail powering companies forward. The devil is in the detail of the how, who, what, and when of technology investment and implementation.”

What Will Happen in 2023

ABI Research predicts that the total wearables market will reach around 700 million by 2027 with a CAGR of 12.8% from 2022 to 2027. With a continued increase in IoT adoption and general technology use, wearable devices are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. ABI Research expects growing demand for connected wearables, especially in healthcare, that will elevate the wearables market over the next few years. Additionally, OEMs will have a key role in providing portable and simple form factors that will facilitate the wearable industry's growth.

What Won’t Happen in 2023

While wearables with integrated cellular connectivity can provide greater freedom from smartphones and allow wearers to use them on the go, 5G wearables are not expected in 2023. Component manufacturers have not announced any 5G chipsets for wearables and are not expected to do so within the year, due to small market potential with few device shipments compared to other mobile devices. The additional complexity of fitting 5G components into such small form factors means, at least for the time being, market demand for cellular connectivity in wearables can be served adequately by 4G.

For more information, check out 74 Technology Trends That Will—and Will Not—Shape 2023.