In 2013 the global smartwatch market’s estimated value was 702.5 million. That same year’s shipments amounted to over 2 million units. Since then, the demand for smart watches has cooled as consumers wait for better functionality. Early demand suggests the market could take off when functionality improves.
It was estimated in 2014 by Business Insiders that the global wearables market will grow at annual rate of 18% over the next five years and will hit 148 million units shipped in 2019. The smartwatch category is projected to be the leading product category in the wearable technology industry. It accounted for 59% of total wearable device shipments this in 2015, and that share is projected to expand to just over 70% of shipments by 2019.
Other factors driving market growth are the increase in smartphone usage, growing levels of health awareness among consumers, evolving future of wearables in the health industry and the move to self-care. Health and fitness remain a dominant segment of the smartwatch market. Other influences are developing economies, increase in spending power and the increase in demand across demographics.
Barriers still exist and will inhibit consumer wearables adoption and usage. Smartwatches must become standalone computing devices with more functionality for the devices to become mainstream. This will require them to have an independent internet connection and smartwatch apps. Other barriers include small screen size, clunky style, limited battery life, high costs and lack of app ecosystem.
Overall, the smartwatch industry is on the rise and will continue to see growth. There just needs to be increased functionality to stay on top of the competition.