Tech Market Snapshot: Wearable tech, 3D printing, cloud email and cloud analytics all set for growth

274.6m wearable devices to be sold worldwide this year
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We roundup the latest news from IT analysts and firms to see which tech categories have been doing well, which haven’t, and what’s forecast to be big in the near future.

A new report from Gartner forecasts that 274.6 million wearable electronic devices will be sold worldwide in 2016 – an increase of 18.4 per cent from 232.0 million units in 2015.

Sales of wearable electronic devices will generate revenue of $28.7 billion in 2016. Of that, $11.5 billion will be from smartwatches.

The analyst has also reported on the cloud email market, saying it is gaining traction among organisations worldwide. According to Gartner, the cloud email market is still in the early stages of adoption with 13 per cent of identified publicly listed companies globally using one of the two main cloud email vendors.

"Although it is still early days for cloud email adoption, both Microsoft and Google have achieved significant traction among enterprises of different sizes, industries and geographies," said Nikos Drakos, research vice president at Gartner.

"Companies considering cloud email should question assumptions that public cloud email is not appropriate in their region, size or industry. Our findings suggest that many varied organisations are already using cloud email, and the number is growing rapidly."

New research commissioned by Informatica and conducted by IDG Research Services has found that cloud analytics adoption has reached a tipping point, with 68 per cent of IT and business decision makers planning to investigate or deploy a cloud-based analytics system in the next year.

In addition, 74 per cent expect to have completed implementation of a hybrid or cloud-only approach within three years, to help them analyse data both in the cloud and on-premise, as well as from big data sources like the Internet of Things.

Western Europe spending on 3D printing is forecast to grow 29 per cent a year to more than $7.2 billion in 2019, according to IDC.

IDC expects that key regions and vertical industries will drive this high rate of growth globally, and provide a transformative effect on how previously mass-produced goods can now be customised for individual needs and requirements.

While emerging markets will represent a growth opportunity, IDC expects that Asia/Pacific, the United States, and Western Europe will grow their aggregate share of global spending from 59.2 per cent in 2014 to 70 per cent by 2019.

IDC has also reported on the tablet market this week. According to the firm, the worldwide tablet market declined yet again in the fourth quarter of 2015 with 65.9 million units shipped, down 13.7 per cent year-over-year.

Total shipments for 2015 were 206.8 million, down 10.1 per cent from 230.1 million in the prior year. Despite the market's negative trajectory overall, shipments for detachable tablets reached an all-time high of 8.1 million devices.

The transition towards detachable devices appears to be in full swing as pure slate tablets experienced their greatest annual decline to date of 21.1 per cent. On the other hand, detachable tablets more than doubled their shipments since the fourth quarter of last year.

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