Smartwatches are expected to become very popular with consumers and the Apple Watch will inspire increased interest in the technology, similar to what Apple Pay did for digital wallets. While there are several other popular wearables circulating in the market, the imminent release of the Apple Watch will shake things up and reveal where consumers’ true allegiances are. Will the product receive the same amount of consumer endorsement that iPhones enjoy?
Smart wearables will lead the charge
According to research firm IDC, wearable technology is expected to take off in a big way in 2015, reported PYMNTS. Industry experts predict that approximately 45.7 million wearable devices will be shipped to consumers this year. By 2019, that number is forecast to rise to 126.1 million, representing a 45 percent five-year compound growth rate. “Smart” wearables in particular, like the Apple Watch, are expected to be the most popular. The IDC indicated that its forecasts put smart wearable shipments at 25.7 this year, which is more than what is assumed for wearable technologies like fitness trackers. IDC analyst Ramon Llamas commented that the launch of the Apple Watch will spark increased interest in the product category.
“Smart wearables are about to take a major step forward with the launch of the Apple Watch this year,” said Llamas, according to PYMNTS. “The Apple Watch raises the profile of wearables in general, and there are many vendors and devices that are eager to share the spotlight. In fact, we anticipate continued growth here as many segments of the market seek out simple, single-use wearable devices.”
The Apple Watch comes with several price tags and colors
Apple expects the smartwatch to be popular with consumers and, as such, it is being offered in a number colors and models. The release date of the Apple Watch is April 24. Interested customers can purchase the product starting at $350, and for more elite consumers, a $17,000 version is available as well, noted USA Today.
Paired with an iPhone, the smartwatch can be used to make payments with Apple Pay and the technology will likely increase interest in that mobile payment product category as well. Its capabilities as a fitness tracker have also been widely reported on. The watches have gone through rigorous testing to ensure that the device can hold up during strenuous activity and in harsh environmental conditions like heat and snow. Apple Insider noted that Apple took the watch to distant places like Alaska and Dubai and tested it in special “climate chambers” to make sure it could perform in extreme heat and cold. The company’s Director of Fitness and Health technologies Jay Blahnik commented on his optimistic expectations for the product and the research conducted.
“[Apple has] what may be one of the world’s largest pieces of data on fitness,” said Blahnik, according to the news source. “We think there’s a lot to this fitness thing … the impact on health could be profound.”
The Apple Watch will see strong sales in its first few days
Fortune reported that Apple could sell as many as 1 million smartwatches during the device’s first weekend of sales. Piper Jaffray Analyst Gene Munster predicted that Apple Watch pre-orders will be in the range of 300,000 in the first 24 hours.
Fortune asked a number of analysts to provide estimates for how many units Apple would sell in the first year. The average estimate was 22.47 million. One high-end estimate by Analyst Kate Huberty put that number at 60 million.
Ultimately, the Apple Watch is set for big things. Consumers interested in purchasing a fitness tracker will be inclined to buy the product. People who want to use Apple Pay may also purchase the device. And of course, long-time fans of Apple products will probably buy the Apple Watch to show their support for the company and acquire a piece of their latest tech. As previously mentioned, the Apple Watch will inspire increased interest in wearables as a whole. The impact the technology will have on the market cannot be measured in unit sales alone. It remains to be seen how this will unfold, but a few years down the road, it will be clear just how pivotal the Apple Watch was for the technology industry.Back To Blog