Gartner also believes that the worldwide smartwatch and wristband market is going to take off in a big way. The research firm says that by 2016, smartwatches will comprise about 40 percent of consumer wrist-worn devices. Supporting its prediction is the fact that nine out of the top 10 smartphone vendors have now entered the wearables market, or are about to enter it.
Get ready to see scenes like this next year, if Gartner's prediction comes true. Image Source: Google (Android.com)
"Apple has finally unveiled its Apple Watch, which we expect to trigger more consumer interest once it starts shipping in 2015," said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. "Apple introduced three smartwatch models that will sell at a wide price range, with the lowest starting at $349. As with the iPhone, Apple's high-price strategy for the Watch will limit its market share; yet, with its attention to design and the user interface, we believe this product will attract many users."
Part of the reason why Gartner thinks smartwatches and wristbands will take off is because they're already gaining footholds in homes. The results of a recent consumer study conducted by Gatner at the beginning of the third quarter in 2014 showed that fitness wristbands and "other fitness trackers" combined are already represented in more U.S. households than sports watches (such as dedicated running watches), which have been around for many years.
We think it's a bit early to predict widespread appeal for the smartwatch category, though if prices really do tumble all the way down to $30 on average, it would certainly give the category more stamina.