A Business Insider report on the smartwatch market is forecasting that the Apple Watch will by 2020 account for around 40% of sales in the luxury watch market, which it defines as watches costing at least $350.
As evidence for this, it cites a consumer survey showing growing interest in the Apple Watch among owners of traditional watches, 27% of those who already wear a watch saying that the added functionality of Apple’s wearable appeals to them. The report also notes a trend away from simpler fitness bands toward full smartwatches …
The report says that fitness bands have seen their share of the wearables market fall from 53% in 2014 to an estimated 48% this year, with a further slide to 42% predicted by 2020. Among those planning to buy a smartwatch, three times as many favor an Apple Watch over an Android-based competitor.
As always with reports aiming to predict the future of tech products, a lot of assumptions go into them that may or may not turn out to be correct, so they are best viewed as informed opinion.
An earlier report suggests that the Apple Watch may have a difficult time in the shorter term, KGI forecasting that full-year shipments will fall 25% year-on-year before picking up on the back of a new design in 2017.
A NYT piece contained an interesting snippet about Fitbit: the company delayed its new product launch by six months back in 2011 because of the launch of the iPhone 4s.
At the time, the new iPhone added a capability to synchronize with wireless accessories using the standard called Bluetooth. Fitbit trackers back then lacked Bluetooth connectivity, but [Fitbit CEO James Park] wanted them to be able to synchronize data immediately with the iPhone.
“It could enable a lot of possibilities in terms of real-time feedback,” he said.
So Mr. Park gathered a few top employees into a conference room. They decided to re-engineer the Fitbit products to support the new feature. The decision set product releases back about six months, but the revised devices became best sellers.
Park says that Fitbit will expand the functionality of their products – possibly to include mobile payment – while stopping short of the range of features offered by smartwatches. The Apple Watch, meantime, appears to have more designer bands on the way, with Coach bands expected to launch next month from $150.