Compared to the likes of the smartphone market, the smartwatch market is far more immature. While we are already seeing second generation devices coming through, the number of smartwatches landing more reflects the general approach and attitude to the smartwatch market, than the reality of the age of the market. As such, when reports do come through highlighting how few are being sold or how figures are lower than expected, they have to be taken with some context. Mobile phone adoption was not massive or mainstream when it first emerged and it makes sense the same would go for smartwatches too.
That said, a report today from Tractica takes a slightly different look at the smartwatch market than most of the others. Instead of comparing the overall market to that of expectations, the report looks to identify the current trends and determine how the smartwatch market will look internally over the years to come. In short, who will be winning the smartwatch OS race in the next few years.
It is no secret that Apple is making a massive impact on the smartwatch market overall. Reports have already suggested that Apple had sold more of their Apple Watches in the first few months than the whole smartwatch market managed to achieve collectively in 2014. In fact, the impact of the Apple Watch on the smartwatch market was recently reported to be forceful enough to slash Samsung’s smartwatch market share from nearly 75-percent a year ago, to almost 7.5% this year. This was not due to Samsung not selling enough, but instead, Apple selling so many that the market share changed so drastically, that so did Samsung’s share of it.
Tractica believes that is trend which will continue and even stated that Apple OS based Watches will occupy as much as 68-percent of the smartwatch market by the end of the year. The report details that by the close of 2015, the entire smartwatch market will have seen 24.4 million smartwatches shipped, 16.7 million of which will be Apple Watches. Following on from this, the Tractica report also goes on to detail this will likely be a continuing trend over the next few years, with Apple continuing to dominate the smartwatch market through 2020. A few of the reasons given for such dominance will be the expanding of the ecosystem by Apple, Apple Pay and strong demand in China. The graph below details Tractica’s outlook until 2020 and although Apple remains the dominant smartwatch OS, it does seem that there market share majority will slow down with each passing year. Although, by 2020 will still be well in excess of 50-percent of the entire market The graph also highlights that besides Apple, Android OS based products will see added pressure from what is expected to be an increase in Tizen and Embedded OS devices occupying their own substantial share of the remaining smartwatch market.