Report: Smartwatch Market To Improve 18 Percent In 2017
According to a recent report released by Canalys, the global market for smartwatch devices will improve 18 percent in 2017 to $10 billion, which suggests that it might be high time for traditional watch manufacturers to join in on the smartwatch fun. As pointed out by the research firm, the whole smartwatch market remains a relatively small segment, and is one dominated by Apple (no surprise there). The Apple Watch registered its best selling quarter ever during the busy holiday shopping season (no surprise there, too), selling 6 million units and capturing almost an 80 percent of the entire revenues attributed to smartwatch sales during the final three quarters of last year.
Canalys also estimates that Apple managed to ship 11.9 million Apple Watch units for the whole year of 2016, and along the way, snagged about half of the worldwide market for the year. This is pretty consistent with what another research firm, IDC, reported late last year, which indicated that Apple had held a 41 percent share of the global market for smartwatch devices during the third quarter of last year. IDC did, however, state that when it comes to wearable devices, Apple only had a 4.9 percent share, which suggests strongly that in the wearables industry, fitness bands, and not smartwatch devices, continue to be dominant.
With all that projected growth, traditional watch makers may do well to start entering into the smartwatch business. As explained by Canalys, now would be a good time to start considering manufacturing smartwatch devices considering that awareness among consumers is starting to gain some traction. Indeed, people now are starting to be more accepting of smartwatches, and even smart gadgets in general, and with the concept of the Internet of Things already brewing and 5G just around the corner, consuming tech is appearing to head into that direction anyway.
Traditional watch makers are also beginning to sense the winds of change. Manufacturers of cheap watches are finding that some of their customers are now going for fitness bands that can also serve as basic time pieces, while makes of high end wristwatches are also seeing their clientele start to prefer smartwatches, especially those that are designed to look like expensive watches. Well, if you can’t beat them, might as well join them. Striking partnership deals with tech firms is a step in the right direction for those willing to embrace the change, but for those who are willing to fight the tide, they might need to hold fast.