The smartwatch market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.5% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025). IoT-driven smartwatches are a key trend that will not only operate as a standalone technology but interact with other IoT-devices to improve a user's quality of life vastly.
- Owing to the rising penetration rates of urbanization, the demand for aesthetically appealing advanced products with the ability to better serve the consumers' requirements, such as time schedules, multiple features in one device, has been driving the demand for smartwatches globally. Moreover, the huge millennial population has been adopting smartwatches due to the increased spending for their regular work hours tracking and luxury standards. For instance, in 2018, the Fossil Group launched touchscreen smartwatches for the tech-savvy millennials in India.
- Smartwatches are seeing a surge in new users, including the older age population, owing to the fact that wearable makers, such as Apple and Fitbit, among others, are adding health-monitoring features that appeal to older people and keep them updated about their health status in real-time. For instance, Apple features a fall detection app and an EKG monitor to the Apple Watch Series 4, while Fitbit added a feature to detect sleep apnea.
- According to the survey from Rock Health on digital health adoption, in 2019, wearable adoption increased rapidly from 24% in 2018 to 33% in 2019. More consumers are leveraging such devices to address critical health needs rather than just fitness tracking.
- The COVID-19 is expected to have a significant impact on the market in the current year and the first two quarters of the year following it as the supply chain has experienced a huge disruption owing to the COVID-19 being declared as a pandemic. However, for the existing customers, the smartwatch companies are increasingly making efforts for product innovations toward monitoring coronavirus infection rates via smartwatches. For instance, in March 2020, the ECG smartwatch manufacturer, Vagus, introduced a crowd-sourced data-collection campaign to be carried out via its ECG watches. This is aimed at capturing ECG data readings pre, during, and post Covid-19 infection.
Key Market Trends
Medical and Fitness to Account for a Significant Market Share
- Monitoring health has been the most advantageous aspect of wearables technology. Not only does it help fitness-enthusiasts by providing them with necessary health parameters but also aids patients by providing insights on their conditions. People are more worried about their health, and this has led to an increase in shipment of fitness trackers. Since every smartwatch has a component of a fitness tracker, the popularity growth of the smartwatch is increasing significantly, as it has multi-functional features for recording health parameters.
- Saving on both the time and resources, smartwatches are helping doctors by rendering some complex and significant information. Medical professionals are being backed by this data in solving puzzles, like what would be the impact of a new drug, or the constant monitoring of recovery status of an operated patient and much more.
- The accelerometers built into smartwatches can potentially be deployed to detect seizures and tremors, particularly with conditions, like epilepsy. When epilepsy seizures happen, quick and effective treatment is an essential part of making sure the risks of long-term damage to the body are minimized. Smartwatches can be used to alert friends, family, and healthcare workers about seizures that could make a huge difference in patient recovery.
- Fitbit is working towards clinical validation and regulatory approval of its software for use in detecting health conditions, such as sleep apnea and atrial fibrillation, which will help in promoting health fitness and growth of the market.
Asia-Pacific Region is Expected to have Fastest Growth
- The Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth in the smartwatch market due to the growing consumer electronics industry, coupled with a rapid rise of smartwatch market vendors across the emerging economies of the region. Also, increasing the tech-savvy population, a rising pool of chronic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, along with growing popularization of health and fitness to maintain a healthy lifestyle, is driving the market growth.
- Advancements in research across the region are leading to increased innovation in recent years, which is instrumental, thereby driving the demand for the smartwatch market to augment public safety measures by the department of police and other public safety organizations. Also, the growth in disposable income and the rapid adoption and popularity of enhanced gadgets are some of the primary drivers for the market in this geographical region.
- Moreover, the increase in the presence of key vendors, such as Samsung, Sony, Huawei, and Lenovo, offering smartwatches with the integration of the latest technology features has added to the growth of the market during the forecast period. For instance, in January 2018, China's Huawei was one of the first device makers to commit to using the Snapdragon wear 2500 series chipset across a wide variety of smartwatches.
The smartwatch market is a fragmented market, and therefore companies are banking on product innovation and product development to gain an edge and the number of local players. This makes the rivalry intense in the market. Key players are Apple Inc., Fitbit Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, among others. Recent developments in the market are:
- September 2019 - Garmin unveiled a new Venu smartwatch and adult Marvel watches. The Garmin Venu, VivoActive 4, VivoMove 3, and Legacy Heroes Series are all designed to give a tougher competition for the Apple Watch.
- August 2019 - Samsung launched Galaxy Watch Active 2, which comes with an improved heart rate and an accelerometer. It also features a haptic-response touch bezel instead of a physical one.
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