The smartwatch market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14. 5% over the forecast period (2021 - 2026). With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the global demand for electronics slumped significantly during the first quarter of 2020.
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However, the sales of wearable devices such as smartwatches witnessed a major influx from online sales, cutting out various other costs involved in sales, owing to which the buyers were capable of buying products for lower prices on online platforms and comparing features and prices.
- Owing to the rising penetration rates of urbanization, the demand for aesthetically appealing advanced products with the ability to better serve the consumers’ requirements, such as time schedules, multiple features in one device, has been driving the demand for smartwatches globally. Moreover, the huge millennial population has been adopting smartwatches due to the increased spending for their regular work hours tracking and luxury standards.
- Smartwatches are seeing a surge in new users, including the older age population, owing to the fact that wearable makers, such as Apple and Fitbit, among others, are adding health-monitoring features that appeal to older people and keep them updated about their health status in real-time. For instance, Apple features a fall detection app and an EKG monitor to the Apple Watch Series 4, while Fitbit added a feature to detect sleep apnea.
- According to Samsung Enterprise Mobility, smartwatches and other wearables may soon move from consumer devices to valuable enterprise tools, and South African CIOs are preparing to manage and secure the wave of new enterprise technologies and is anticipated to provide massive opportunities for vendors in the forecast period, thus impacting the market’s growth positively.?
- For the existing customers, the smartwatch companies are increasingly making efforts for product innovations toward monitoring coronavirus infection rates via smartwatches. For instance, in March 2020, the ECG smartwatch manufacturer, Vagus, introduced a crowd-sourced data-collection campaign to be carried out via its ECG watches. This is aimed at capturing ECG data readings pre, during, and post Covid-19 infection.
Key Market Trends
Medical and Fitness to Account for a Significant Market Share
- Monitoring health has been the most advantageous aspect of wearables technology. Not only does it help fitness-enthusiasts by providing them with necessary health parameters, but it also aids patients by providing insights on their conditions. People are more worried about their health, and this has led to an increase in the shipment of fitness trackers. Since every smartwatch has a component of a fitness tracker, the popularity growth of the smartwatch is increasing significantly, as it has multi-functional features for recording health parameters.
- Smartwatches are helping doctors by rendering some complex and significant information by saving on both time and resources. Medical professionals are being backed by this data in solving puzzles, like what would be the impact of a new drug, or the constant monitoring of recovery status of an operated patient, and much more.
- The accelerometers built into smartwatches can potentially be deployed to detect seizures and tremors, particularly with conditions, like epilepsy. When epilepsy seizures happen, quick and effective treatment is essential for ensuring the risks of long-term damage to the body are minimized. Smartwatches can be used to alert friends, family, and healthcare workers about seizures that could make a huge difference in patient recovery.
- Fitbit is working towards clinical validation and regulatory approval of its software for use in detecting health conditions, such as sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation, which will help in promoting health fitness and the growth of the market.
Asia Pacific Region is Expected to have Significant Growth
- The Asia Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth in the smartwatch market due to the growing consumer electronics industry, coupled with a rapid rise of smartwatch market vendors across the emerging economies of the region.
- The increasing tech-savvy population, a rising pool of chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, and the growing popularization of health and fitness to maintain a healthy lifestyle are driving the market growth in the studied region.
- Also, in China, children have contributed to the growth of the country’s smartwatch industry. BKK Electronics, a Chinese multinational firm, did very well with the largest growth rates in smartwatch shipments, surging 64% year on year. BBK Electronics is usually known as the company behind rising domestic smartphone brands, like Vivo and Oppo.?
- Further, advancements in research across the region are leading to increased innovation in recent years, which is instrumental, thereby driving the demand for the smartwatch market to augment public safety measures by the department of police and other public safety organizations. Also, the growth in disposable income and the rapid adoption and popularity of enhanced gadgets are some of the primary drivers for the market in this geographical region.
- Moreover, the increase in the presence of key vendors, such as Samsung, Sony, Huawei, Lenovo, and Huami offering smartwatches with the integration of the latest technology features along with new partnerships, has added to the growth of the market during the forecast period.
- Recently, Huami Corporation partnered with PAI Health, a health technology software company, in order to combine Huami’s massive biometric database collected by high-quality smartwatch devices as well as powerful algorithms, along with PAI Health’s software to offer a scientifically validated approach to help address some of the health risks typically associated with an inactive lifestyle.?
The smartwatch market is a fragmented market, and therefore companies are banking on product innovation and product development to gain an edge and the number of local players. This makes the rivalry intense in the market. Key players are Apple Inc., Fitbit Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, among others. Recent developments in the market are:
- Sep 2021- Apple Inc launched Apple Watch 7 with the latest OS at the Apple event bringing the first redesign to Apple’s smartwatch line, and the watch will be available from October worldwide. The Apple Watch 7 has retained the rounded edges but with thinner bezels for 20% more screen area than the Watch 6 and has new sizes of 41mm and 45mm.
- Aug 2021-Samsung launched the Galaxy Watch 4 among its new product lineup. The Galaxy Watch4 is available in 44mm and 40mm models, both LTE and Bluetooth variants. It has a new Samsung BioActive Sensor that captures the body composition in real-time to inform users about health goals. Galaxy Watch4 features a simple design with a streamlined Armor Aluminum metal frame. It offers high-end looks and functionality for workouts and day-to-day tasks.
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