The Time is Now for Smartwatches
If the numbers trickling in from the final quarter of 2017 are any indication, the smartwatch market is firmly here to stay. According to data from IDC reported on by the Wall Street Journal, there were north of 12 million smartwatch shipments during the holiday quarter. Now, roughly 60 percent of which could be attributed to Apple, but the rest of the smartwatch market has shown steady year-over-year growth during each of the last five quarters.
In 2015, according to IDC data, slightly less than 20 million smartwatches were shipped globally, or roughly 1 percent of the number of smartphones shipped during the same year. In 2017, however, that number reached 32.7 million—a 60 percent increase over 2016. Apple drove that growth thanks to the launch of its cellular-connected Apple Watch Series 3.
The IDC report is timely considering a recent argument made on Dealerscope that retailers (and manufacturers) need to be patient when it comes to consumer tech adoption. Other factors driving the growth—particularly for Apple—include a wider range of price points. The Watch, for example, starts at $250 now, compared to the $350 price tag it had when it launched in 2015. Additionally, consumers are showing a greater desire to adopt these higher-end devices that have fitness-tracking capabilities to go along with other smartphone-enabled features, according to IDC.