In the next five years, hybrid smartwatches are set to take on about 40% of the market. According to a new report out of Juniper Research. They believe that between now and 2021, about 40% of the market will be accounted for by hybrid smartwatches. What exactly are hybrid smartwatches? Those are the smartwatches that have some "smart" functionality, but are not a traditional smartwatch and feature an analog display instead of a touchscreen. These smartwatches have been gaining in popularity in the last few years, largely thanks to users wanting a smartwatch that looked more like a traditional watch, than something on their wrist with a color touchscreen.
Hybrid smartwatches aren't all that unpopular right now. They actually make up about 30% of the market, so jumping to 40% in five years isn't really that large of a jump. Juniper Research also believes that there will be 60 million smartwatches shipped in 2021, which is actually lower than initial estimates - of course since that is still five years away, we could see that number get even lower, or get higher before 2021. In terms of smartwatch makers that are initial winners in the industry, Juniper Research puts Apple, TAG Heuer, Fossil, Fitbit and Samsung. You might be a bit surprised to see Fitbit in this list, but remember that their Fitbit Surge and Blaze are both technically smartwatches, even though they cater more to the fitness type of user. Not to mention the fact that Fitbit did recently just purchase Pebble and Vector, so they will be a much bigger player in the smartwatch world fairly soon.
Smartwatches are still seen as a somewhat niche product. Since Google launched Android Wear in 2014, they haven't really done a whole lot with it, and after the initial launch with the LG G Watch, G Watch R, Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear Live, there haven't really been that many "new" users jumping into the smartwatch world. As many people see it as another device they need to charge each night, as well as a pretty expensive accessory for their smartphone. Hopefully things will change in the next five years, to make smartwatches appeal a bit more to the masses.