Smartwatch market boosted by basic hybrid and analogue watches, says Juniper Research

A new study from Juniper Research has found that while the number of high-end smartwatches is faltering, ‘smart analogue’ or hybrid watches remain largely unaffected by the market slow-down.

These watches have traditional watch faces but offer some connected functions (like tracking steps or enabling NFC payments), and claim a larger portion of the market than previously anticipated.

While basic smartwatches account for around 30% the current market value, Juniper anticipates that this share will grow to almost 40% within the next five years.

The research, Smartwatches: Trends, Vendor Strategies & Forecasts 2017-2021, anticipates that as the high-end multifunctional smartwatch market slows, vendors will refine or remove unpopular functionalities, focusing on specific use cases, such as fitness and health.

Multifunctional smartwatches are the most visible smartwatch category overall, but now that initial interest has waned, the segment is consolidating. Motorola and Huawei have both withdrawn for the present, while Pebble and Vector have been acquired. The sector is now primarily the preserve of Apple, Samsung and Fitbit, together with traditional watchmakers like Fossil and TAG Heuer.

Meanwhile, with no ‘must-have’ use case emerging for multifunctional smartwatches, Juniper says it has scaled back its estimates for market growth, and now anticipates that fewer than 60 million smartwatches will be shipped annually by 2021.

Research author James Moar remarked: “Now that the initial smartwatch buzz is over, a longer product lifecycle and sluggish adoption are responsible for the slowing market, as users do not regularly upgrade.”

The report also indicates that, despite being present in several smartwatches, NFC is unlikely to generate new use cases for the category, as it is frequently locked into the device vendor’s mobile payment system, hindering innovation.

Customisable watch faces are said to be dominating smartwatch app downloads, implying that Android will take most of the category’s software revenue.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

Recent Articles

Soracom unveils new iSIM capability for advanced IoT devices and smaller form factors

Posted on: June 24, 2021

Soracom, Inc., a global provider of advanced IoT connectivity, has completed a Proof of Concept (PoC) demonstrating integrated SIM (iSIM) capability designed to support the next generation of IoT devices.

Read more

WBA openRoaming primed for residential rollout after Wi-Fi 6 trial with Airties over in-home Wi-Fi

Posted on: June 24, 2021

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) reported the completion of a successful proof-of-concept trial to automatically onboard Wi-Fi client devices to a residential Wi-Fi 6 network, paving the way for the rollout of WBA OpenRoaming across in-home Wi-Fi and wide-area wireless broadband networks.

Read more