The Apple Watch, Apple's first foray into wearable technology, is still shrouded in mystery. While the company has released the details regarding the device, along with the target of shipping the Apple Watch for sale by early 2015, analysts can currently do nothing more than to speculate on how successful the device will be once it hits the market.
It is believed that the Apple Watch will serve as the catalyst that will kick off massive consumer interest for smartwatches, leading to a big boom in the market.
A report by Business Insider predicts that the Apple Watch will make up 40 percent of the shipments of smartwatches for 2015, peaking at almost half of the market share for smartwatches to 48 percent within two years. After such time, it is predicted that other companies will have already developed devices that can compete with the popularity of the Apple Watch, leading to the decline of the smartwatch.
A BI Intelligence report, however, reveals a more detailed look on the wearables market and its performance in the long run.
The report predicts that, as spurred by the pending release of the Apple Watch to the public, there will be massive growth in the wearables market. Globally, the wearables market will be increasing at a compound annual rate of 35 percent for the next five years. This means that, compared to the expected 33 million units to be shipped in 2015, the figure should reach 148 million units by 2019.
Sales of wearable devices will be taken up mostly by smartwatches, with sales figures expected to rise with a compound annual rate of 41 percent for the next five years. Smartwatches are expected to make up 59 percent of the total sales of wearable devices this year, with the percentage to increase to over 70 percent by 2019.
Other wearable devices, including fitness trackers and smartglasses, will continue to be present as they appeal to niche markets within the consumer base.
The expected growth of the smartwatch market is also expected to lead to the dominance of Apple and Google in the space, as they currently do for the smartphone and tablet computer industries. As the iOS and Android compose over 90 percent of the mobile operating systems in use today, many users will choose to purchase smartwatches that are running similar platforms.
Expectations by different analysts vary on the number of Apple Watch devices that will be sold this year, ranging from as low as 10 million to as high as 60 million.
Considering all scenarios, the Apple Watch has a great potential to inject some steroids to the smartwatch market.