The smartwatch industry has blossomed like never before. Currently at the developmental stage, the industry recorded a 90% growth in 2013 with 3 million smartwatch unit sales as compared to mere 0.3 million units in the previous year. As consumers have started looking beyond smartphones, the industry is going to receive a massive boost in 2014. Almost all the smartphone manufacturers have either entered the smartwatch industry or arming themselves to blow the competitors away. The industry is estimated worth a staggering $3000 million by B2C revenue in 2014.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is the latest entrant who would join this industry by releasing the much anticipated iWatch into the market. The iWatch is expected to be officially launched this October. According to a report from China Economic News, Quanta Computer has bagged the rights to produce about 70 percent of the Apple iWatch. As the launch date is getting near the rumors have started working their wonders. The tech giant is reportedly said to be working on several smartwatches to suit everyone from the geeks to the simpletons.
According to this latest rumor, The Swatch Group, a Swiss firm, is said to be one of the companies working with Apple in producing the iWatch. This Swizz firm is the largest watchmaker in the world with a market capitalization of more than $33.5 billion. However the twist to this rumor is that recently a spokesperson of the Swatch group denied such reports and said that the only relation that they had with mobile phone makers was as a supplier of integrated circuits and other electronic components.
The pressure is mounting on Apple due to the recent commercialization of smartwatch by Samsung, Sony and LG. The Samsung Galaxy Gear being the best in the market will face stiff competition from the others. Samsung has led the smartwatch industry in 2013 with a share of 34 percent, while Fitness device specialists Garmin, Nike and Fitbit followed closely. Samsung managed to ship 800,000 units followed by Nike and Garmin who shipped 400,000 and 200,000 devices, respectively.
Fitness and Healthcare Powering the Industry
Smartwatch industry is estimated to be worth $12.12 billion by 2015. Fitness and Healthcare currently are the main drivers of this industry. This evolution will also create new opportunities for developers as new smartwatch Operating Systems are being designed.
Free Smartwatches for developers at the Google I/O
Major tech giants are spearheading the Smartwatch evolution. At the recent Google I/O 2014 all the developers were said to receive free brand new Smartwatches, the choice being the recently introduced Samsung Galaxy Live or the LG G3 android wear. This will open possibilities for a wide range of applications which can be developed. The number of developers dedicated to this industry is said to grow by 300% in 2014.
Microsoft has a sensor rich smartband up its sleeves
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is not going to be left behind in this race; leaks suggest that they are readying its own smart band. This smart band would sport 11 sensors, but that is not the best part yet; This smart band has the ability to work across any platform, meaning this would be compatible with most of the Android phones too.
With the recent announcement of the Android Wear program and the success of the Galaxy Gear series, Apple will be more than willing to take a swing at this industry. About 48 million smartwatch devices are expected to be shipped in 2014, while this number is estimated to reach a whopping 373 million units by 2020. Low cost Android based devices are likely to fuel this industry. As the fitness freaks have already experienced their share of smartwatch, which help them track their Heart Beat and other essentials in real time, the days are not far when the Health industry will start recommending the smartwatches to patients to track their vitals. Can the Apple iWatch be a game changer following the footsteps of the iPhone and the iPad?