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Market research indicates explosive growth underway in wearable tech
NASSAU, Bahamas, June 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- No longer a novelty, smartwatches are fast becoming a bona fide force in the world of watches. Essentially wearable computers, these devices are a natural extension of smartphone technology. Sales are expected to top $12 billion by the end of next year, with hundreds of global manufacturers competing for a slice of that pie. That's all according to an infographic recently published by the DreamChrono blog.
When launching new products, marketers often agonize over how to cross the "chasm" between the early adopters and the early majority. Smartwatch manufacturers, or at least some of them, appear to have made that leap. In 2013, the market volume for smartwatches stood at $711 million. Consumers bought three million units, up from just 300,000 the year before. Signaling a bright future for this wearable technology, research and development spending last year totaled $3 billion.
Samsung Galaxy Gear has rocketed to the top of the smartwatch pile, capturing 34% of the market share. The Gear 2 sold half a million units in May 2014 alone. The success of the brand's Galaxy smartphones has no doubt given the company enormous momentum. Competing with Samsung, roughly 40 companies are currently offering some variety of smartwatch, including Garmin, Sony, Pebble and Casio. DreamChrono's research suggest that as many as 200 companies will be in the business before the end of this year.
"Easily the most anticipated smartwatch on the horizon is the Apple iWatch. Apple has a built-in core of loyal customers, along with a reputation for pushing technology toward its next evolution," remarked DreamChrono Founder Romain Brabant. "Today, the smartwatch with the most buzz is the Moto 360. It's possible that consumers gravitate toward its round shape and overall appealing design."
As the infographic demonstrates, price points for smartwatches are all over the board. Swiss-made Hyetis checks in at a cool $1,200, while renowned timepiece manufacturer Breitling blurs the line between smartwatch and luxury item with its $15,000 Emergency II. On the other end of spectrum, the Qihoo 360, designed and marketed for kids, is only about $30. Most smartwatches fall in the $100 to $300 range.
Functionality is a key characteristic driving the smartwatch craze. Several leading manufacturers – Nike and FitBit, for example – have staked out a market position by concentrating on health and wellness features. Other in-demand features include communication, personal assistance, security and gaming. App developers are quickly getting on board, seeing the growth in demand for innovative smartwatch applications. By the end of this year, DreamChrono anticipates that 100,000 app developers will be focusing on the smartwatch sector.
As a leading resource on fine watches and watch collecting, the DreamChrono blog has dedicated an entire subsection to the emerging smartwatch marketplace. Going forward, the blog will publish reviews of new releases, market research and editorial content. DreamChrono also hosts a forum for the watch collecting community.
DreamChrono is a blog about all aspects of fine watches, with a focus on the needs and interests of collectors. Anyone interested in learning more about the art and craft behind the world's greatest watches is encouraged to connect visit the blog or connect via Facebook or Twitter.
Media Contact: Romain Brabant
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