Canalys Forecast 18% Growth For Smartwatches
Market research firm Canalys have released new estimates for the global smartwatch market, predicting 18% growth to over $10 billion in 2017.
If their claims are proven accurate, the global smartwatch will ship 28.5 million units across the year.
The firm predicts that this growth will come at the expense of the traditional watch industry. They claim that the average selling price of smartwatches will climb and, eventually pushing the value of the smartwatch market to approximately two thirds of the traditional Swiss market.
Canalys says that “while the traditional watch community is trying to catch up with the smartwatch trend, some watchmakers are still reluctant, and are expected to release connected watches instead. Also known as hybrid watches, Canalys sees connected watches as a short-term, intermediate solution for watchmakers as they find ways to stabilise the decline in the traditional watch market.”
“Connected watches appeal to buyers who want a watch first and a basic band second. With fewer people wanting to buy traditional watches, connected watches with limited functionality risk ending up like basic bands: being taken over by smartwatches by 2018,” said Canalys Analyst Jason Low.
He said that watchmakers need to switch their focus to smartwatches if they want to secure a long-term place in the market.
“This requires watchmakers’ full attention as the approach to making and selling a smartwatch is different from that for a traditional watch,” he says, “It is a fight to change a business culture, but the watch industry must adapt to survive.”
Low said that forming partnerships with technology companies like Samsung is an important first step but “a well-formulated strategy to sell a watch will play a larger role as watchmakers have to appeal not only to watch fans, but consumers who are yet to buy a wearable.”