Growth Predicted for Smartwatches
Maybe the Apple Watch hasn’t caught on as it was expected to but that doesn’t mean that smartwatches don’t have a niche. A consumer survey by Business Insider Intelligence revealed some very interesting points about the future of wearable devices.
First, the market for wearable devices is expected to experience major growth over the next few years. The report estimates that the global market for wearables will grow an impressive 35% over the next five years. The number of units shipped annually should expand from 33 million in 2015 to 148 million in 2019.
The smartwatch will be responsible for the largest share of these wearable shipments. While the devices account for 59% of wearable device shipments this year, that share should grow to over 70% in 2019. Smartwatch shipments are estimated to experience an annual growth rate of 41% over the next five years.
Even after a slow start, the survey shows that the Apple Watch will have a positive effect on the entire market for smartwatches. Accounting for 40% of the smartwatch shipments this year, the Apple Watch should reach a 48% share in 2017.
Somewhat surprisingly, the market for fitness bands is expected to shrink, probably due to the fact that smartwatches can take over the same tasks while having more features. The study shows the market share for fitness bands going down from 36% this year to 20% in 2019.
So will these predictions come true? Obviously it’s too soon to tell since we have no way of knowing what the makers of tech devices and traditional watches have planned for the future. Smartwatches could get sleeker, more attractive, less expensive, more feature filled and just plain smarter—or become one more forgettable fad. The latter is not likely to happen since too many companies now have way too much cash invested in the future of the smartwatch.