The Smartwatch - a computerised wristwatch - enables a user to run mobile applications via a mobile operating system, answer phone calls, etc. A Smartwatch can be used for various applications such as personal assistance, wellness, and so on, but also act as a portable media player playing digital or FM audio via a Bluetooth or USB headset.
As a result the global Smartwatch market is forecasted to emerge as one of the fastest growing segments in the smart wearable market, growing on the back of increase in popularity among smartphone users and a widely anticipated decline in Average Selling Prices.
The smartwatch market is largely dominated by key players which include Apple, Samsung, LG, Lenovo, and Garmin, but there is a marked growth in the entry of new players offering low-cost smartwatches, so the market is posed to witness rapid adoption in Asia and other developing countries.
Over the past few years, smartwatches have witnessed rapid adoption among high-end smartphone users. A variety of factors are now influencing the international growth, such as easy availability of low-cost smartwatches across the world, the growth in the number of smartphone users, increasing health and fitness awareness among people, the rise in demand for wireless health monitoring devices, and an increase in technological advancements.
Various watch manufacturers, such as TAG Heuer, Fossil, Swatch, Titan and others have already announced expansion of their product portfolio to move into or expand their offering in the smartwatch segment, offering style and technology to brand conscious people. This also fuels the growth of the international smartwatch market.
There is an emerging trend here. Smartwatches are one of the highest revenue generating segments within the overall smart wearable market, and thanks also to an ongoing development of mobile applications and the related download ecosystem, it is understandable why these are key drivers. Industry specialists confidently predict that the increased number of smartphone users will combine with the availability of low cost android smartwatches to propel this market forward. The more that are sold, the greater the awareness of the product category, further fuelling demand for both high-end and well as low cost smartwatches for health monitoring, hands-free entertainment via Bluetooth or USB headset, navigational systems, and so on.
Just as in Smartphones, the operating system battle is also taking place in the Smartwatch arena; here the usual Android, iOS and Windows face competition from others that include Tizen, Pebble, Linux and others. The manufacturers face a decision on whether to produce a standalone Smartwatch or whether the product should be an extension of another device, whether phone or tablet. There are also different application areas to focus on, with differentiation in wellness, medical/health, sport, or the separate area of personal assistance, or a totally different application area.
One of the major market research companies, TechSci, has been studying this market and will soon be publishing their report with estimates of the markets internationally broken down by region, company, and segment.