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Published- Nov 2021
Number Of Pages – 90
A smartwatch, much like a smartphone is a portable device designed to carry a miniature version of a computer around your wrist. Most smart watches today when connected with a smartphone via Bluetooth or an internet connection, enable the user to check notifications, make use of different apps, answer calls, text, track fitness levels, navigate locations, etc thus proving to be a one tool kit.
IoT-driven smartwatches are a key trend that will not only operate as a standalone technology but interact with other IoT-devices to vastly improve a user’s quality of life.
The Kaa IoT platform complements wearable technology, such as smart watch with superb ready-to-use IoT functions and applications. Kaa is easily integrated with tiny microchips in wearable devices. It enables instant interoperability, device management, data collection, events and rules execution, security, and other features, which will drive the market in future.
Although digital watches have been in the market for decades, some with unique features like built-in calculators and unit converters. It was only in the later 2010s that tech companies entered this market segment when Pebble Smartwatch introduced its first smartwatch in 2012 and gained immediate popularity.
Later, advanced technology brought the revolution in the smartwatch industry, with Apple announcing its first-ever Apple watch series in April 2015 providing momentum to the smartwatch industry globally. Many other players were quick to enter the new market niche.
Advances in silicon miniaturization and technology further led key players like Apple, Google and Samsung to foster the use of their operating system and provide greatly customized products to their consumers to meet specific needs and opened doors to other kinds of dedicated- purpose smartwatches leading to an overall increase in smartwatch volume globally.
Google WearOS continues to account for 13% of the total smartwatch market in 2020, behind Apple WatchOS. Huawei’s Lite OS and Amazfit’s Amazfit OS are growing fast. Further, the cellular-capable smartwatch is becoming more popular and accounts for more than one in four smartwatches shipped, benefitting the likes of Qualcomm. Heart rate monitoring now is featured in almost 60% of the smartwatches.
Fall detection and SPO2 are the features that should see mass adoption in future models. Square form-factor accounts for almost two-thirds of the smartwatches globally as the form factor is helping to better fit additional sensors and needed battery footprint.
The massive leaps in battery life and processing power are helping to better track overall health as continual heart rate, sleep and other monitoring can be done instead of the device sitting on a charger. The leaps in solar charging technology will also help OEMs concentrate on better monitoring. It is expected to continue to see a focus on fitness and wellness applications.
An increase in health awareness among the consumer is driving the market. Consumers across the world are spending a lot on health monitoring gadgets. The recent Apple watch series 7 can track heart rate, Blood SOP, nervous system, emergency, or inactivity alerts, Irregular heart rhythm notifications and health-related events. Using a smartwatch, a user can take the required precautions in advance by consulting doctors. Doctors can easily track patient health status remotely through the smartwatch and can treat them as per the requirement.
Increasing demand for wireless sports and fitness devices is driving the market. Currently, the use of smartwatches among cyclers, runners, gym-goers, swimmers, and athletes is increasing rapidly, owing to their wide range of monitoring capabilities. The wireless synchronization of these watches with smartphones enables users to control music, notifications, alarms, auto sleep, and other functions, which drives the growth of the market.
Moreover, the ongoing technological advancements by market players are also stimulating the growth of smartwatches, as they are technical products that require constant R&D for different features. In 2019, Fossil launched the Fossil Sport smartwatch. This smartwatch is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 processor and runs the newly-redesigned Wear OS by Google. This product is ideal for all health and activity enthusiasts.
As consumers around the globe are willing to spend more on portable devices that can perform features like monitoring your diet, heart rate, pulse rate, distance counts, etc., the demand for smartwatches is on the rise.
Furthermore, with outdoor activities cut down, a wearable healthcare device that is easy and fashionable to carry has proven favorable for athletes, gym-goers, fitness freaks and sports persons alike, thus attracting new tech players to enter this promising field.
In Oct 2019, Google (owned by Alphabet) made an offer to acquire U.S. wearable device maker Fitbit Inc.
Fitbit pioneered the wearable devices trend, is now partnering with health insurers and has been making acquisitions in the healthcare market, to diversify its revenue stream. In Aug 2019, it launched a new product, Versa 2, with new features like voice assistant Alexa, online payments and music storage.
In India, a smartwatch is a consumer product that is viewed as an amalgamation of state-of-the-art IT and an everyday fashion item. A watch is regarded as a kind of luxury jewel for many and therefore a smartwatch serves as a symbol for wealth and fashion for many potential customers in the upper section, thus driving more sales for the smartwatch market.
India-based Titan, the world’s fifth-largest watchmaker, manufactured 18 million watches last fiscal, of which about 700k units were smart wearable devices.
In June 2020, Chinese brand Realme sold over 15,000 smart watches (priced at $50), in less than two minutes during its first sale on both Flipkart and Realme.com. The watch had features like with real-time heart rate sensor and SpO2 monitor for blood oxygen levels. It also had 14 different sport modes, including cricket, yoga, walking, running etc.
In Q3 2021, India recorded a 175% QoQ growth rate, which is high-ever shipments dominated by local brands such as Noise and BoAt.
COVID-19 has muted the pace of growth for smart wearables in India as a sizeable chunk of the urban population is now working from home and having limited physical activity.
The smartwatch space remains a popular consumer device segment, compared to the downturn seen in smartphone demand and many other segments in the first six months of 2020 due to the devastation caused by COVID-19.
Close to 100 million smartwatches were shipped in 2020 as wearables continue to see greater demand with consumers becoming more health-conscious. India (+57% YoY), Europe (+9% YoY), and the US (+5% YoY), the most affected regions of COVID-19, saw healthy growth in smartwatch shipments which offset the decline in other markets
The Fitness and Medical Application is expected to gain the highest popularity as compared to other features, considering the current market trends.
The global smartwatch market is estimated at $XXM in 2020 growing at XX% CAGR till 2026.
Smartwatches are a revolutionary property in tech right now, and despite still being early in 2021, there are plenty of upcoming devices to get excited about.
The focus in the early part of 2021 will be on budget smartwatches, as the quality of sub-$100 devices improves.
That’s until the likes of Apple, Fitbit and Samsung look to refresh their line-ups in the second half of the year.
This affordable arms race is being driven by the same companies that tore up the rulebook for smartphones: the likes of Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi, ZTE and Huawei are all the busiest when it comes to new smartwatches.
Hybrid smartwatch -fusion of a traditional mechanical watch with a smartwatch is the way forward. A hybrid smartwatch offers the basic features of a smartwatch, equipped with Bluetooth connectivity but resembles a normal watch with some added features like that of a calorie tracker and heart rate tracker.
Hybrid watches are gaining popularity due to their attractive looks and superior combo features. Hybrid smartwatches are the best suit for those who want the looks of a traditional watch but with smartwatch working features.
Consumers, who do not need a complex smartwatch facility have shown interest in this product as it does not require much prior technological knowledge or long hours of charging to make optimal use of the product. Therefore, this segment holds scope for huge growth for the players operating in the market.
With tech giants hugely investing in R&D facilities to constantly develop new and highly customized devices in the smartwatch industry to remain relevant in the market, the smartwatch industry is expected to constantly flourish. For instance, Apple provides innovative features like shock-proof and water resistance capabilities in their new Apple watch series thus attracting great public interest into their products.
New companies are focusing on the design and development of new and highly advanced smartwatches. The new products are now equipped with powerful speakers, HD cameras, GPS tracker, Good storage capacity, voice control, thermometers among others. Many of them also feature high-end software that allows a seamless wireless and touchless feature, high-end connectivity, digital mapping and personal organizer.
Apple continued to dominate the smartwatch market both in volume and value. Apple captured a record half of the market in terms of revenue due to strong demand for the Apple Watch S6 models. In terms of shipment volumes, Apple Watch grew XX% globally with Europe and North America being the fastest-growing markets in the first half of 2021.
Samsung launched its smartwatch – Gear S2 Classic contains Voice commands via S Voice, dual-core 1GHz processors, 4GB storage, music players on board, NFC and Samsung Pay compatibility, and two to three days of battery life being the most important points.
Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer launched its popular smartwatch series while also introducing its latest brand partnership. The new Connected x Super Mario is TAG Heuer’s first collaboration with Nintendo, creator of the iconic, eponymous video game character, and the watch at its core represents a playful gamified take on TAG’s flagship “smart” timepiece.
Montblanc rolled out the Summit Lite smartwatch, an aluminum-cased model updated with apps for fitness, athletic performance, and general well-being. The case is water-resistant to 50 meters and features a 1.9″ AMOLED display, customizable for a variety of multifunctional faces (including an analog-style based on Montblanc’s current mechanical collections), on a crystal made of tough, scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass, a mainstay element of smartphone and tablet screens.
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