Canalys predicts massive growth in smart wearable band shipments

Pebble & Samsung Gear currently principal players

Mobile industry analyst, Canalys estimates that just over 200,000 ‘smart wearable bands’ shipped in Q1-Q2 2013. However, it forecasts that worldwide shipments of smart wearable bands are on the rise. The market is set to grow by well over 500 per cent in Q3-Q4 2013. Despite growing interest in the category, however, products to date have been very limited. Canalys anticipates that 2014 will be the turning point for smart wearable devices. Market expansion will occur with the launch of improved technologies.

Chris Jones, vp and principal analyst with Canalys, observed, “Samsung’s marketing and promotional efforts with the Galaxy Gear resulted in shipments of over 800,000 units in its first two months on sale, establishing the company as the new market leader.”

He continued,”Pebble continues to grow rapidly with its smartwatch. iOS 7 integration and an updated SDK with additional APIs give Pebble’s partners a great opportunity to increase the watch’s appeal while maintaining its excellent battery life.”

Canalys analyst Daniel Matte, added, “A successful wearable device depends on the connectivity of a smart phone, which increasingly serves as the new digital hub for mobile users.”

” Wearables entail a unique set of constraints for vendors and platform owners more experienced with the smart phone and tablet markets.”

“The market for smart wearables is extremely dynamic. This space is going to look very different in 12 months’ time,” Matte said.

Canalys expects significant developments in the following key areas: -

  • Systems on a chip (SoCs)
  • Health and fitness sensors
  • Low-power displays
  • Mobile operating systems (OS)
  • Materials and design

Canalys argues that excellent opportunities exist to take advantage of these technological needs and address market gaps.

Existing smart phone SoCs are poorly suited to wearables and do not deliver the battery life that consumers demand.

These components will need to be designed specifically for wearables, working alongside sensor hubs that help reduce power draw.

The integration of new types of sensors not included in smartphones, such as those for heart rate monitoring, will be another important trend.

Displays with power efficiency advancements will also be vital, requiring optimizations in both hardware and software. Existing mobile operating systems will be scaled down to run on wearables.

Finally, vendors will employ more sophisticated materials and place a greater emphasis on design than with current products.

Canalys highlights the most promising companies, products and technologies in the wearables space as part of its Appcessory Analysis service.

About Hans Cett

Hans Cett is an established freelance author and consultant specialising in the mobile communications industry. He also writes for Countdown2MWC - http://countdown2mwc.wordpress.com/
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