It is now being predicted that by 2022 hybrid smartwatches will account for more than 50-percent of the overall number of smartwatches shipped in the year. This is based on the latest research by Juniper Research which goes on to detail that in 2022 the total number of shipped hybrid smartwatches will be closing in on 80 million.
Juniper Research further explains this will equate to an increase of 460-percent when compared to 2017 where it is expected only 14 million hybrid smartwatches have been shipped. What is likely to be a distinction worth noting, however, is while the hybrid market is expected to grow by 460-percent, the 'true' smartwatch market (those featuring digital displays) will only see growth of 160-percent during the same time-frame. Therefore, while shipments of hybrids is expected to significantly increase over the next four years, the rate of increase for digital display smartwatches will not be anywhere near the same level. With the end suggestion here being that by 2022 the market will see the number of hybrid (compared to digital display) smartwatch shipments balancing out. With the report further suggesting that it may have even tilted in favor of hybrids by then.
As for why this is likely to be the case, Juniper Research draws on two very clear causes. The first, the actual level of investment in hybrid smartwatches from companies like Fossil will continue to drive adoption. The second, the smartwatch market (which although may have seen more attention over the last few years) now finds itself in a state of change. As Juniper Research notes that many smartwatch manufacturers are now starting to see the digital display smartwatch market as more of a targeted market, one that is best approached with a specific use-case philosophy in mind. With the report drawing on the fitness industry as the most popular of these use-cases, and the likes of Samsung and Casio (and their most recent smartwatches) as further evidence of this. Furthermore, the report goes on to suggest this change of emphasis to specific use-cases will continue to shape the digital display smartwatch market going forward. That is, not only in terms of the design and marketing of these smartwatches, but also where the consumer will be able to purchase them.