Will Wearable Tech Replace Smartphones?

by Priyanka Pugaokar    Mar 28, 2016


The smartphone industry recorded exponential growth worldwide in recent years. However, it seems that the smartphone makers are losing creativity in their product offerings. The smartphone business witnessed a lot of disruptions in terms of pricing, but nothing revolutionary has happened on the technology front in recent years. The industry is going through stagnancy with too many players offering almost similar kind of devices. Therefore, now smartphone makers are capitalizing on smart wearables which is the next big wave in the smart device industry.

Wearable technology mainly incorporates advanced electronic gadgets in a wearable manner, even though in its nascent phase, smart wearables are gaining popularity among techies. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the worldwide wearable device market will reach a total of 111.1 million units shipped in 2016. By 2019, the total shipments will reach 214.6 million units, resulting in a five-year CAGR of 28 percent.

The most common smart devices are smart watches, smart bands and smart glasses. Wearable technology in the form of clothing and accessories, has also attracted users. Therefore, manufacturers of smart devices are keen to leverage the technology as the demand for such devices has grown in an upward trend.

Vendors Losing Uniqueness?

The question is being raised because in the current scenario, leading smartphone makers are lacking behind in introducing devices that will set them apart from the competition. The leading smartphone makers who are bringing new models in the markets are nothing but an upgrade of the older version. However, vendors like Apple and Microsoft have introduced the path breaking technologies like voice-controlled ‘personal assistants’ Siri and Cortana which are enhancing the user experience.

Not Replacing Smartphones

Though the smart wearable market is growing steadily, the industry has to go long to actually gain a momentum. Smartphone are widely recognized as a massive product and well accepted in the commercial space as well. Therefore, industry experts say that smart wearables will gain acceptance in the future, however, it will not replace smartphones totally. According to experts, smart wearables are not a replacement, but an extension of digital devices. Significantly, current wearable gadgets like smart watches are mostly smartphone-dependant. Therefore, both the technologies will complement the growth of each other.

Role of E Commerce

E Commerce marketplace is proving significant in the growth of smart wearable market. The vast coverage and reach of E Commerce portals has enabled the makers of smart devices to reach to their target audience. Leading smartphone maker Motorola has introduced its entire range of smart devices on Amazon. Motorola recently, introduced its second generation Moto 360 smartwatch that runs Android Wear on Amazon with attractive prices.

Similarly, online portals like Fipkart, Snapdeal etc. have positioned several smart variables further fueling the market growth. Wearables today represent a new mobile category with huge potential for apparel retailers, sporting goods brands, and footwear. According to market estimates, wearable sales are expected to reach $30.2 billion by 2018 with smart watch sales estimated to reach $12.5 billion by 2018

Growth Potentials

Smart wearable devices are certainly a big wave in technology and have a lot of scope for customization and improvement. The growth of smartphone business has been phenomenal, but with the challenge the industry is facing currently, smart wearable devices could compliment the growth of the industry.