Don’t fancy an Apple Watch? Plenty more choice …
Starting now, prepare to be bombarded with information about the new Apple Watch – with the company about to announce more-detailed specifications, pricing and an availability date.
It looks as if you’ll be able to buy an Apple Watch before Easter, and a new research report suggests that Apple will sprint into an immediate lead in terms of market share.
If you don’t fancy an Apple Watch, there is an increasingly broad choice of other smartwatches.
Sleek and trendy it might be, but there are some shortcomings that Apple is keen to gloss over with its Watch. Battery life seems to be the biggest bugbear, with daily/nightly charging required, which means the Watch is less useful as a sleep tracker than an ordinary old smart wristband.
Tied to a smartphone
There will be a lot of media coverage in the coming weeks around the topic of tethering. The Apple Watch is a tethered device, that is, it relies on a Bluetooth LE connection to a smartphone in order to get data.
If you you’re looking for a smartwatch that is able to make a receive calls, messages etc without a smartphone, then the Apple Watch isn’t for you.
So if you’re waiting for an important call and planning to go jogging without your smartphone, the Apple Watch alone isn’t going to be able to receive calls, nor will it pick up texts or emails for that matter.
There are smartwatches on sale that come with a SIM card, meaning they are able to make a receive calls, and access data via the cellular phone network – such as the Galaxy Gear S from rival Samsung – without needing to be connected to a smartphone.
New report profiles 49 smartwatch models
A new report from Generator Research actually identifies a total of 49 smartwatches from different vendors. Although the company has blurred out its graphs in marketing materials, the red line shows that it predicts an immediate lead for Apple, which in fact will last until late 2019, when combined smartwatch sales from other vendors finally take over.
The hefty report, which runs to almost 200 pages, lists smartwatch makers from Germany’s Adidas through China’s Yingqu Technology – although they missed out on the new smartwatch range from Pierre Cardin, which we tracked down last week at MWC (more on that later this week).
The report retails at GBP 395 for the PDF only, while for an extra GBP 80 you can also get an Excel file with detailed market forecast data. It forecasts “that smart watch vendors worldwide will sell 32.9 million smart watches in 2015 and that this will rise to 307.1 million by 2020” – which is a substantial market. By comparison, global smartphone sales in 2013 totaled 968 million units according to Gartner.
There will be plenty of smartwatches on show at this week’s Wearable Technology Show in London, which has doubled in size since last year. WTW is attending, with lead author Simon Jones moderating full-day panel sessions on both days: On Day One, Tuesday March 10th, you’ll find Simon moderating the track on Smart Textiles and Fashion, and on Wednesday, the Performance Sports track.