Smartwatch Market Forecast To Reach 15 Million in 2014
Posted: Oct 23, 2013
While the smartwatch market wasn’t invented in 2013, this year may well be remembered as the year the tech world got serious about the category.
But unless you live in Silicon Valley or are a super-geek, chances are 2014 will be when you or someone you know actually owns one.
Figure 1: Smartwatch shipments 2013-2020 (in millions)
That’s because 2014 will be the year when smartwatches show up in a big way at retail. Sure, you can find a Pebble today at Best Buy ; BBY -1.23% and soon Samsung’s Galaxy Gear will make its way to a store, but retail real estate for smartwatches will be fairly modest this year. However, by next year, retailers – both online and brick and mortar – will expand their focus on wearables, with smartwatches getting much of the mind and shelf-share.
2014 will also mark the year that all of the big names looking at the space show their cards. Google; GOOG +2.42% recently admitted they’d acquired early smarwatch pioneer WIMM, and Apple's ; AAPL +0.98% copyrighting of the term iWatch in Japan is a pretty good indicator the company has designs on a wrist-based wearable, and while there’s an off-chance either could make a smartwatch splash before the end of this year, 2014 will be likely be the year of category creation by these big names.
All this means the market will grow significantly in 2014. According to a new report just published on the smartwatch market from NextMarket Insights, the smartwatch market is forecast to reach a total of 15 million smartwatches shipped worldwide, up from 5 million this year. Growth is expected to continue after that, with the market hitting nearly 37 million watches shipped in 2015.
Much of the growth of smartwatches will be driven by Asia. China has seen significant early attention from smartwatch makers, and low-cost Android based smartwatches could prove popular in emerging economies as an alternative to phones. We also expect new segments of the watch market – such as fitness/active lifestyle and youth – to fuel growth in coming years.
So what does all of this smartwatch activity mean for the average consumer? More choice, of course, and maybe even a shiny new smartwatch on your wrist.