Apple poised to dominate smartwatch market
Apple looks set to dominate in smartwatches once it finally launches the Apple Watch smartwatch this March
April – and will own half the entire smartwatch market by 2017, according to the latest reports.
Last week, the mighty Cupertino-based company caused shares in sporty personal camera company GoPro to drop faster than a slippery iPhone after a patent application “revealed” some shortcomings in GoPro’s design.
Now two recent reports both paint a gloomy outlook for Apple’s rivals in the smartwatch market.
The market research wing of the UK publication Business Insider predicts that Apple will dominate in smartwatches once the mighty Apple Watch finally goes on sale.
This is backed by research from Swiss-based think-tank, the Smartwatch Group. It has elevated Apple to the number one position in its top 50 smartwatch database, which also includes smart wristbands.
For Apple, this is some achievement considering that the Apple Watch has not yet even launched. It has leap-frogged Google and Samsung to grab the number one slot, with the consulting group commenting that “it will take some product iterations until the Apple Watch will live up to its potential – and many app developers to join the quest”.
The Smartwatch Group’s research methodology notes: “Ranking is based on a company’s current smartwatch portfolio, sustainable USPs and brand power, revenue forecasts, the company’s positioning, strategic approach, and execution power.”
Apple leads, even though it’s behind
The Smartwatch Group even goes as far as commenting that “from a technological perspective, Apple is behind Samsung” but adds that Apple has been awarded top spot for factors including “relevant use cases, – and maybe even more importantly – good looking products”.
The LA Times didn’t agree, famously calling the Apple Watch an “egg timer with straps” in its reportage on Apple’s September launch announcement.
Our conclusion: If you’re planning on buying a smartwatch, it will be worth hanging on until the spring, even if you don’t want an Apple Watch. Apple is going to rock the market, and that will mean price cuts from rivals.
Elsewhere in the Smartwatch Group top 10, the biggest losers are smartband pioneer Jawbone and early crowd-funded smartwatch success story Pebble. Jawbone has seen its ranking slide down two places to 6th, but is still four places ahead of arch-rival Fitbit, while Pebble has fallen out of the top 10 completely, to place #13. Fast-growing Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi – which introduced the super-low priced Mi Band in September – is the highest-placed new entrant, ranked fourth and one place ahead of Motorola/Lenovo, makers of the Moto360.