Why 2015 Is A Turning Point For Wearables?
As smartphones have reached saturation point, and and tablets failing to impress many, wearables, especially smartwatches, are considered to be the most innovative area in consumer technology, believe experts. A GfK report forecasts that total sales of smart wearables - smartwatches, wearable cameras, headsets, smart glasses and health and fitness trackers — has clearly started building - will hit 72 million by the end of 2015 and will have almost doubled again to 114 million in 2016.
Right now however, these are nascent. The GfK report show that smartwatches accounted for just 1.2% of the wearables market globally in 2014.
Fewer than 3 million smartwatches were sold in 2014, according to data from research firm CCS Insight, which is a small number, but 2015 is expected to see wearable technology sales boom to 75 million with an estimated 36 million smartwatches sold by the end of the year. Apple’s Watch alone is expected to account for two-thirds of smartwatch sales with all manufacturers – including traditional watchmakers working on smart models such as Tag Heuer and Swatch likely to benefit from Apple introducing the technology to a wider audience.
While Apple Watch is expected to change much of the wearables landscape, with analysts predicting the Apple Watch to sell anywhere between 10 million and 45 million before the end of the year, there are several others eyeing up the potentially lucrative market. Google’s Android Wear watches made by Motorola, LG, Sony, Asus and many others – dominate the Android side, with Samsung debuting six smartwatches in the last 18 months.
IDC too in its recent report stated that the market for wearables albeit in its infancy now, will be in great demand by the end of this year. As more products have hit the market, customers are now seeing a greater diversity, triggering more interest. Demand for wearables is also on the rise in emerging markets. But IDC attributed the latest surge in growth in part to lower prices.
It is likely, however, to be style that increases the smartwatch’s reach, said a CSS Insight report. The wrist is a commonly accepted place for technology, but it needs to be attractive and something people want to wear, it said.
“As with any new market, price erosion has been quite drastic,” Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, said in a press release. “We now see over 40 percent of the devices priced under $100, and that’s one reason why the top five vendors have been able to grow their dominance from two-thirds of the market in the first quarter of last year to three-quarters this quarter.”
Angela McIntyre from research firm Gartner said in a recent blog, there are 1.2bn traditional watches sold every year and a quarter of those are digital watches or even if only a small proportion of those digital watches become connected, but that’s a lot of smartwatches,” said .
Experts believe we are in the stone age for wearables. But starting 2015, in the next five years smartwatches can provide an experience that’s compelling enough to out a smartphone and its uses will be manifold, say researchers.
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