Android leads the charge as the global smartwatch market grows. The market is predicted to reach $32.9 billion by 2020, a growth of 67.6 percent in six years, said a report from Allied Market Research.
Extension smartwatches, those like the Pebble Steel that require a smartphone to operate, were the most popular kind in 2013, generating about four fifths of the revenue globally. Standalone smartwatches like the Samsung Gear S, those that can operate without smartphone support, accounted for only one tenth of the market in 2013, but are expected to match the market size of extension smartwatches by 2020. Sales of phone-dependent smartwatches accounted for more than 2 million units as of 2013.
Right now, most of the market’s growth is taking place in North America, the report said. However, that’s about to change, with the Asia Pacific region emerging as a popular hub, and Chinaset to evolve the market with low cost manufacturing.
In part, Allied Market Research predicts unpredictability. New sensors technologies will change the way smartwatches are built from the ground up, the study said.
For now, competition is fierce. Samsung lead the smartwatch market in 2013, followed by Nike and Garmin. In the future, Samsung is expected to push its Galaxy Gear by replacing its Android OS with Tizen, a Samsung platform.
Android is predicted to continue to lead the market for smartwatch OS platforms through 2020, Allied Market Research said. Apple and Android may go head to head, as iOS devices are becoming competitively priced and tend to be offered in product bundles. Apple is already outselling Android in the United States.
Personal Assistants like Siri and Cortana are also changing the landscape of smartwatches. Allied Market Research predicts that Personal Assistant applications will remain mainstream, and will grow at a steady rate through 2020.
Wellness applications such as fitness trackers are also expected to see steady growth. They are current the second most dominant domain for the market, holding almost one fifth of the market in 2013.
Is a smartwatch in your future? Looks like, statistically, wrist-mounted wireless is the way to go.