More than 100 million smartwatches will be in use worldwide by 2019, says Juniper Research. In a new report (http://tinyurl.com/qceaqhh), the firm predicts that the next 12-18 months will bring the product category into mainstream consumers’ awareness.
Smartwatch differentiation is shifting from hardware to features. These include GPS and NFC connectivity. Juniper believes that these will become standard ‘in the next few years’, particularly due to the inclusion of NFC on the Apple Watch. However, this range of functionality means that a ‘killer app’ is unlikely to be developed.
Finally, Juniper expects demand for simple notification-based smartwatches – such as the Martian Notifier – to fall as international brands launch their high-end products. This will occur even in markets where price is the most important purchasing factor. Smaller players will need to respond to increasing consumer expectations, or lose market share. The average smartwatch price will remain above $200 until 2020.