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Wearables testing at IFA 2015 Consumer Electronics and Appliances Trade Fair

TECH ROUNDUP: Wearables Market Rocketing, with More Growth Still to Come

Sept. 14, 2015
Toshiba suffers another blow, posts $102 million quarterly loss. ... Nintendo taps HR head as new company president.

The market for wearable tech, led by Apple Watch and a range of connected fitness gadgets, is exploding, a survey showed Monday.

The report by research firm IDC said global wearable device shipments will reach 76.1 million units in 2015, up 163.6% from 2014. By 2019, worldwide shipments will reach 173.4 million units, a growth rate of nearly 23% over the next five years.

The biggest growth segment in this category is “smart wearables,” which includes watches and devices with more capabilities than “basic” wearables such as fitness bands.

“Smart wearables only account for about a third of the total market today while basic wearables, led by fitness trackers, account for the rest,” said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani, who also said smart wearables are on track to surpass the less functional basic wearable category in 2018.

“Smart wearables will quickly move from a smartphone accessory primarily focused on notifications to a more advanced wearable computer capable of doing more processing on its own,” he said in a statement.

IDC said it sees Apple Watch and the watchOS operating system capturing some 58% of the market this year, projecting sales for 13.9 million units. Apple has not released any sales figures so far. Android and Android Wear, the operating system from Google, is expected to grab a 17.4% market share with 4.1 million units selling this year, according to IDC.

TOSHIBA: TOKYO — Toshiba reported a first-quarter loss of $102 million on Monday after sales fell to a two-and-half-year low, in a fresh blow to the Japanese conglomerate after a huge accounting scandal.

The 140-year-old firm, which sells everything from vacuum cleaners to nuclear reactors, posted a net loss of 12.27 billion yen in the three months to June. Sales fell 4.5% from a year earlier to 1.35 trillion yen, the lowest since the quarter ended December 2012, due to a poor performance in television and personal computer businesses.

Toshiba said in a stock exchange filing that its electric and nuclear generation businesses also saw a weak three months.

Last week, Toshiba said it would book a 37.8 billion yen annual loss to March 2015 to account for a billion-dollar profit-padding scandal that hammered the reputation of one of Japan’s best-known firms. The net loss was a reversal from a previously expected 120 billion yen annual profit.

NINTENDO: TOKYO — Japanese video game giant Nintendo appointed Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president on Monday, two months after its CEO died of cancer. 

Kimishima, who is currently the head of human resources, will take office on Wednesday, the company said in a statement. The 65 year-old former banker also served as CEO of Nintendo America from 2006 to 2013. 

The Kyoto-based company said it has named Kimishima to “reinforce and enhance its management” after the death of CEO Satoru Iwata, who died in July aged 55, just months after abandoning a controversial consoles-only policy and launching a push into the booming smartphone games market.

“It’s a very orthodox choice, which sends a message that the company is choosing to stay the course,” Mitsushige Akino, executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management, told Bloomberg News. “Investors expecting growth would have preferred to see some bigger changes. Someone with a direct experience in designing games would have been better.”

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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