With the cellphone market rapidly nearing the saturation point, it is estimated that smartwatches are the next big thing in consumer electronics. Though the hype has been rife for a long time, the market for the futuristic wristwatches is still evolving.
While the leading brands including Apple (AAPL) Watch and the Fenix series of Garmin (GRMN) set new trends with their revamped portfolios, the $2-billion acquisition of Fitbit by Google (GOOG) was the biggest event the wearables segment witnessed last year. There is speculation that the combination would pose a big challenge for Apple, which continues to expand its foothold in the smartwatch space.
After entering the wearables market with the acquisition of the smartwatch technology of Fossil last year, Google expanded its portfolio by adding the Fitbit brands, including Versa. More big names are expected to enter the field in the coming years, lured by the growing popularity of the gadgets, including smartwatches, among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
The growing adoption of smartwatches for clinical use and roll-out of new feature-rich models with competitive prices will lift demand this year. Top players Apple and Google will be vying for market share in the coming months. In the medical field, most of the facilities and conveniences being offered by wearable devices are so unique that they will be playing a key role in healthcare delivery in the future.
While Apple Watch continues to make inroads into areas like the detection of serious medical conditions like heart attack, Fitbit’s Versa is catching up fast. Both Google and Apple are seeing a formidable competitor in South Korean tech firm Samsung, which recently unveiled a new version of Galaxy Watch Active. Meanwhile, Chinese tech firms Xiaomi and Huawei are striving to secure their place in the fast-growing smartwatch market.
According to a report published by Allied Market Research, the smartwatch market is poised to reach $31 billion by 2025, representing a 16% growth from 2018.
Apple’s business segment that includes wearables registered a 54% growth in the most recent quarter while sales of its flagship product iPhone dropped 9%, weighing on the company’s overall financial performance. Meanwhile, Fitbit slipped to a loss in the third quarter, hurt by double-digit decline in sales across the key markets, including the US.