In the technology tussle for consumer wrists, it seems as though the smart money is on the smartwatch.
new report from Gartner predicts that the wearables market will grow
18.4 percent in 2016, with sales of 274.6 million units and $28.7
billion by the end of the year. Most of that cash, analysts said, will
be driven by an uptick in the sales of smartwatches, which alone are
expected to pull in $11.5 billion (roughly Rs. 78,060 crores) in revenue.
devices are also expected to see growth, the report said, including
head-mounted displays such as the Oculus Rift or the Microsoft HoloLens.
Fitness wearables such as wristbands and smart clothing will also
continue to grow - thanks in part, the report said, to the way US
wellness programs have embraced the devices.
But the smartwatch is expected to outpace all other wearable devices.
joins other analysis firms in crediting the Apple Watch with the
increased interest in smartwatches. Adoption may not have been as fast
as some expected for the company's wearable - though we don't know for
sure because Apple doesn't release sales figures for the Watch - but
there's little doubt that it has brought the product into the public
eye. One recent brand study even found that Apple overtook Rolex on its
index as the best luxury watch brand.
That helps explain even more
why the current wearables market leader, Fitbit, has invested in making
a smartwatch of its own to augment its fitness band business. Fitness
bands have been an easier sell to consumers, as smartwatches often still
seem like an unnecessary expense for most consumers. But as people get
more used to the idea of smartwatches and manufacturers add more
capabilities to them, analysts say, the watch is poised to eventually
overtake the fitness band.
Yet even with all of the optimism
around wearables, the Gartner report indicates we're not going to see
them become as ubiquitous as smartphones any time in the immediate
"Smartwatches have the greatest revenue potential among
all wearables through 2019, reaching $17.5 billion (roughly Rs. 1,18,788 crores)," Angela McIntyre,
research director at Gartner, said in a release. "Though the sales of
smartwatches are one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption
will remain much below sales of smartphones."
© 2016 The Washington Post