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When they first broke onto the scene, smartwatches were touted as the next generation of devices set to transform consumers’ lives. And brands, service providers, and the healthcare segment were ready to capitalize on their “always on” nature, which promised to provide greater insight into consumer habits. But while the market initially grew rapidly, it has begun to cool off, as consumers become impatient with the technology’s lack of distinct capabilities, such as LTE connectivity and device-specific apps.
In the next few years, the smartwatch market will likely see the addition of new functionality and increased capabilities, which will see the device shipments grow at an annualized rate of 18% through 2021 to reach 70 million units.
However, smartwatches are reliant on a number of factors in order to generate any sort of meaningful consumer demand. Until such a time, adoption of smartwatches will likely be sluggish, as consumers wait for vendors to produce products that can run independently from their phones and provide more useful functions.
So what does this mean for the device championed as the replacement for the smartphone? Should vendors manage to implement a lower price point, better functionality, and expanded use cases, there is a vast potential for accelerated global growth. Moreover, because of the low adoption rate thus far, there is still ample opportunity for new entrants to join the market, and capture mind share.
In a report from BI Intelligence, we examine all areas of the smartwatch market, including a five-year forecast, key growth trends, market leaders, consumer demand, and more. We also discuss the need for the inclusion of standalone capabilities in smartwatches, the importance of bringing both better apps to the devices and greater consumer awareness of capabilities. Lastly, we will explore the nascent smartwatch app market, including its shortcomings and how it can be improved.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Demand for smartwatches has cooled as consumers wait for better functionality. But early demand suggests the market could take off when functionality improves.
- Apple will continue to drive a large portion of the overall market, however, Android Wear devices will quickly catch up as emerging markets begin to adopt the technology.
- Health and fitness remain a dominant segment of the smartwatch market, providing healthcare workers and hospitals with savings opportunities. As technology and app development advances, the benefits of smartwatches within these segments will become even more robust.
- The future of the smartwatch market remains somewhat unclear, however, there is profound opportunity for businesses and developers to begin exploring the nascent smartwatch market. This will give them a head start against competitors.
In full, the report:
- Forecasts smartwatch shipments through 2021 for both overall device shipments as well as by operating system.
- Provides an overview of the main players in both hardware and software, and how they will size up in the future.
- Demonstrates the effect of Apple’s entrance into the market, and why it’s unlikely to dictate future growth.
- Gives insight into what technologies need to be worked on in order to incentivize future growth, the effects they will have on the market, and how they can be used.
- And much more.
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