Hybrid smartwatches expected to represent 40 per cent of the wearable market by 2021

Basic hybrid or ‘smart analogue’ smartwatches are expected to represent 40 per cent of the wearable market by 2021, a new study from Juniper Research suggests. These watches have traditional faces, but despite their simplicity they still provide some connected functions. This has contributed towards the watches’ popularity according to the market researcher.

Vendors will simplfy their watches further by removing unwanted functionalities and focus instead on specific features such as fitness and health tracking. With simpler smartwatches expected to grow at twice the rate of high-end multifunctional ones, these vendors are naturally responding to this trend Juniper Research says.

Research author James Moar said: “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.”

Additional information from Juniper Research’s study predicts that fewer than 60 million smartwatches will be shipped annually leading up to 2021, which also points to a decline of interest in the devices from a consumer perspective. As well as this, the analyst suggests that bespoke watch faces will dominate app downloads, and Android will do well when it comes to generating software revenue which is an estimate from the market research analyst. 

Another crucial highlight from Juniper Research’s data indicates that despite initial interest in multifunctional smartwatch devices, the market is consolidating. The acquisitions of Pebble and Vector coupled with Motorola and Huawei withdrawing from the smartwatch market all together, means other vendors such as Apple, Samsung and Fitbit are left to simplify their devices with the help of traditional watchmakers like Fossil and TAG Heuer.

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