Will Apple Watch Propel Wearable Market ?
The Wearable mania has gripped almost every other person this year, from investors, to analysts and enterpries to end-consumers. While wearables have been around in the last couple of years (including the likes of Jawbone and Fitband products), what could be so exciting about the gadget this year? The obvious reason is that tech giant Apple is in the game and will release its Apple Watch this month.
According to IDC, Smart wearables will grow a whopping 510 percent this year, to 25.7 million units. Moreover, wrist-dedicated devices will make up for more than 80 percent of the total market.
The Apple factor
The Apple Watch will be up for purchase from April 24 and it is estimated that Apple will sell 26.3 million units by the end of 2015.
Launched in three variants (Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition) and two sizes (38 mm and 42 mm), the Apple Watch will be priced between $349 (over Rs 21,800) to a whopping $17,000 (Rs 10.66 lakh) for the gold model. In India however, as per estimates, the price of the Apple Watch will be about Rs 28,000-35,000, which will be more than the cost of wearable products sold by rivals Samsung and Sony.
“Apple Watch begins a new chapter in the way we relate to technology and we think our customers are going to love it,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier. ”We can’t wait for people to start wearing Apple Watch to easily access information that matters, to interact with the world, and to live a better day by being more aware of their daily activity than ever before,” he added.
The smartwatch would require iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus running iOS 8.2 or higher versions. It delivers up to 18-hour battery life and has digital face that can look like a traditional time piece. According to the company, users will be able to make and receive calls, read e-mails, control music, manage Instagram photos and keep track of fitness using the smartwatch.
It’s others pie too
However, the success of wearables is not all due to Apple, although the iPhone maker’s watch is poised to become the market leader in smartwatches from the start, predicts Gartner. Others including Motorola’s Moto 360 and Samsung’s Gear branded devices, should benefit from this trend. Google is also planning on its own smartwatch with partners Intel and TAG Heuer. Apple Watch’s pre-orders begin next week on April 10, the same day its rival Samsung is releasing the new Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge.
IDC said it expected some 45.7 million wearable tech gadgets to be shipped globally this year, up 133 per cent from 2014. By 2019, the research firm sees volumes of 126.1 million units, or an average growth pace of 45 per cent. Apart from bracelets and watches, experts also see strong growth in smart clothing, connected eyewear and earwear which will also grow massively.
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