The new report found that shipments of smart watches will be driven by a new Multi-function segment capable of performing an array of additional functionalities such as tracking fitness and sports activities, payments or ticketing compared to the more limited Dashboard/Console segment. The Multi-function segment will be propelled by the emergence of players such as Apple and Samsung.
Apple & Samsungs Key Role
Junipers latest report, Next Generation Smart Watches: Market Prospects 2013-2018 contends that the entrance of Apple and Samsung into this sector as suggested by recent trademarks and patents will help to validate the category and act as a catalyst for other competitors to enter the space.
Report author Nitin Bhas stated: By educating and publicising this device segment to the consumer, Apple and Samsung will indeed act as a catalyst to the market. In addition, being a key influencer, these players entry into the smart watch segment will benefit existing smart watch players providing an increase in awareness and adoption of other wearable devices.
The report noted however that both smart watch categories Dashboard/Console and Multi-function will only appeal to a niche demographic when compared to tablet and smartphone for example and hence the market potential will be comparatively limited.
Premium and Standard Price Models to Differentiate Smart Watches
The report defines Multi-function Smart Watches as premium products, thereby differentiating them from existing products such as the Pebble and the Sony Smart Watch. This is expected to result in a multiple price band category similar to the current smartphone market. This means that while the average retail cost for Dashboard/Console smart watches will decline over the forecast period, pricing for the Multi-function devices will remain almost constant.
Other Key Findings Include:
- Significant opportunities will arise for app developers across the health, fitness, sports and communications segments.
- App-enabled mobile wireless accessory shipments to approach 170 million by 2018