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Apple Watch Dominates Smartwatch Market

Despite its April launch date, the Apple Watch claimed 52 per cent of smartwatch shipments in 2015, according to new data from Juniper Research.

Meanwhile, Android Wear shipments comprised less than 10 per cent of sales for the year, with the research showing that a continued strong use case for smartwatches has seen, the Apple Watch aside, the market driven by lower-priced devices with more basic functionality.

The research shows that Samsung’s Tizen-based Gear S2 has not achieved strong sales volumes since its November launch, despite being well received, with most other smartwatch sales currently coming from cheaper, simpler devices from a range of smaller players, such as Martian and Razer.

While many smartwatch vendors have produced ranges of watches, allowing for customisation and price segmentation, the Juniper research argues that there have been no great leaps forward revolutionising the category.

“The smartwatch is now a category waiting for a market,” research author James Moar commented.

“Newer devices have offered more polished looks and subtly different functions, but no large changes in device capabilities or usage. With smartwatch functions established, it is now up to consumers to decide if they want them, rather than technology companies providing more reasons.”

The research additionally found that the smartwatch ecosystem is growing rapidly, with dedicated software companies emerging to supply both games and productivity-based apps.

Juniper believes that, while the price point remains high for smartwatches, it will be finance deals with retailers that “will be a key part in mitigating this concern, as well as making smartwatches more visible to general consumers”.

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