Smart watch shipments to hit 36m in 2018

Smart watch shipments to hit 36m in 2018
Italian smart watch brand, i'm Watch, has been on the market for more than two years.
Published: 27 August 2013 - 7:49 a.m.
By: Roger Field

While the smart watch segment remains at an embryonic stage, shipments of the so-called high-end “multi-function” category of the devices are expected to reach 36 million a year by 2018, compared to just 1 million this year, according to a report from UK-based analyst firm, Juniper Research.

The report defines multi-function smart watches as premium products, thereby differentiating them from existing products such as the Pebble and the Sony Smart Watch.

The report found that shipments of “app-enabled” smart watches will be driven by a new “multi-function” segment capable of performing functions such as tracking fitness and sports activities, payments and ticketing. The multi-function segment will be propelled by the emergence of players such as Apple and Samsung, according to Juniper Research.

However, the report noted that both smart watch categories – dashboard/console and multi-function – will only appeal to a niche demographic when compared to tablet and smartphone and the market potential will be comparatively limited.

The report suggests that the entrance of Apple and Samsung into the smartwatch sector – as suggested by recent trademarks and patents – will help to validate the category and act as a catalyst for other competitors to enter the space.

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