Market split between dashboard/console and multi-function segments
According to hi-tech analysts, Juniper Research, app-enabled smartwatch shipments will reach 36 million units per annum by 2018. That compares to just over 1 million units in 2013. Juniper is, of course, banking on the emergence of players such as Apple and Samsung, given that the only real products that are shipping are coming from the likes of Sony and i’m watch. Juniper expects the market will be driven by a new multi-function segment. These are smartwatches capable of performing an array of additional functionalities such as tracking fitness and sports activities, payments or ticketing compared to the more limited dashboard/console segment.
The new report is entitled, ‘Next Generation Smart Watches: Market Prospects 2013-2018′ and can be found here.
It argues that the entry of Apple and Samsung into the smartwatch sector – as suggested by recent trademarks and patents – will help to validate the category and act as a catalyst for other competitors to enter the space.
The report’s author Nitin Bhas, claims, “By educating and publicising this device segment to the consumer, Apple and Samsung will indeed act as a catalyst to the market.”
Bhas continues, “In addition, being a key influencer, these players’ entry into the smartwatch segment will benefit existing smartwatch players – providing an increase in awareness and adoption of other wearable devices.”
The report notes that both smartwatch categories – dashboard/console and multi-function – will only appeal to a niche demographic when compared to tablet and smartphone. for example.
Hence the market potential will be comparatively limited.
The report defines multi-function smartwatches as premium products, thereby differentiating them from existing products such as the Pebble and the Sony Smart Watch.
This is expected to result in a multiple price band category similar to the current smartphone market.
This means that while the average retail cost for dashboard/console smart watches will decline over the forecast period, pricing for the multi-function devices will remain almost constant.
Other key findings in the report include: -
- Significant opportunities will arise for app developers – across the health, fitness, sports and communications segments
- App-enabled mobile wireless accessory shipments to approach 170 million by 2018
A whitepaper entitled, ‘Smart watches… it’s about time’, is available to download free from the Juniper website here.