FORTUNE -- Computers one wears, rather than carries in a briefcase, backpack or pocket, are at an "inflection point" -- a market poised to explode from $3 billion to $5 billion today to as much as $30 billion to $50 billion in three to five years.
That's according to a Credit Suisse report snagged Friday by Barron's Tiernan Ray.
The theory is that smartphones are going to be the hub connecting a proliferation of small, wireless devices that will become increasingly popular as software improves, component prices fall and new business uses emerge.
"Bottom line," writes Ray, "the authors think wearables are 'a mega trend' and that 'your clients need to care' because the gizmos may have 'a significant and pervasive impact on the economy,' change how we all interact with technology, and may 'advance [the] Big Data paradigm.'"
Apple (AAPL) is likely to be one of the big winners in the new market, according to the report, along with Broadcom (BRCM), eBay (EBAY), Google (GOOG), Microchip (MCHP), NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) and, among retail stocks, Nike (NKE), Under Armour (AU) and Alliance Data Systems (ADS).
Up 13.59% in a quarter in which the NASDAQ fell 12.91%
In his Tech Trader Daily column last week, Barron's Tiernan Ray noted that the three months that ended Friday saw some spectacular flameouts in the tech sector, including Netflix (NFLX) down 56.88% for the quarter, AOL (AOL) down 39.58%, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) down 38.32% and Yahoo (YHOO) down 12.4%.
Amid the carnage, however, there were some relatively safe havens. Ray mentioned Apple MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Oct 3, 2011 5:00 AM ET
Two weeks before Apple's Q2 earnings report, a flurry of negativity in the business press
"Apple shares aren't just cheaper than the S&P, they're bizarrely cheaper," writes Tiernan Ray in the current issue of Barron's. "Backing out cash and marketable securities of $60 billion, or $64 per share, ... it trades at 11 to 12 times this year's projected earnings per share, versus the S&P's average of 14 times, despite MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Apr 4, 2011 6:30 AM ET
|Chrysler relents, agrees to recall 2.7 million Jeeps|
|Perils of moving to a no-tax state|
|Yahoo: 13,000 government requests for data|
|Stocks rally as Fed looms large|
|Why Apple's new MacBook Air is the ultimate road warrior's notebook|