According to a recent report, the Apple Watch is the king of all smartwatches. The company was responsible for an impressive 66 percent of smartwatch shipments in 2015, according to Canalys research, shipping more than 12 million units total, five million of which were shipped during the final holiday quarter. Coming in second place was the Samsung Gear S2 followed by the Pebble smartwatch, and Huawei watch.
These watches have each established themselves as the best on the market, but if you’re looking at fitness trackers in general, Fitbit still leads the way. There were 37 million basic fitness bands shipped just last year, and Fitbit controlled this market.
Canalys analyst Daniel Matte believes that Fitbit will continue to reign supreme in the wearable fitness technology industry. “Software increasingly belongs on the wrist, and this is the direction the market is going,” Matte said. “As the next step along this path, the Fitbit Blaze is the right product for the company to develop. It is competitively priced and is still being squarely focused on fitness.”
As predicted, Fitbit will continue to develop its iconic smartwatch with new versions and updates, and will continue to be very successful. Fitbit even beat the Apple Watch in fourth quarter earnings, though the margin was narrow. Overall, however, the Apple Watch won out as the most popular band of the year, thanks to several factors.
It’s safe to say that much of the success can be attributed to Apple’s unparalleled marketing efforts. The company has always paid top dollar for the best advertisements on television and online, as well as constant subliminal messaging through billboards, advertisements, and the iconic brand logo. Even those who profess to hate Apple can’t deny that their marketing efforts are stellar.
There’s also the fact that the Apple Watch is the closest thing to a smartphone in wearable technology. They’ve developed more apps for their device than any other company. It can track fitness and also keep the person wearing it connected with the outside world.
Despite some of the limitations that accompany this smartwatch, including the small screen and slightly awkward interface compared to a smartphone, analysts are predicting wearable technology is the future of technology, and that Apple will lead the way.
Apple has typically offered more compatible and first-party apps than any other brand, and the technology continues to advance. It’s opening the door for even more apps for the Apple Watch in the future.
It’s also raising some unique security concerns, namely protecting personal data. Cyber security threats are growing for devices of all kinds, and attackers are discovering new viruses and malicious codes that can infiltrate new devices while they’re still vulnerable.
This is one concern that can be treated with continued advancements in both wearable technology and cyber security protection. It won’t be long before anti-virus protection and encryption become mainstream for these devices.
Assuming companies like Apple continue to update their devices and protect against vulnerabilities, Canalys is predicting extreme popularity for smartwatches in the future. It’s expected that in 2016, the wearable industry will generate $28.7 billion in revenue and that $11.5 billion of that will be revenue from smartwatches alone, as wearables become more of an accepted lifestyle trend.
Despite a move towards mainstream adoption, experts are still predicting they won’t be the most popular devices for a very long time, if ever.
“Though the sales of smartwatches are the one of the strongest types of wearables, their adoption will remain much below sales of smartphones,” said Gartner analyst Angela McIntyre. “For example, in 2016 more than 374 million smartphones will sell in mature market countries and in large urban areas of emerging market countries, for example, in Hong Kong and Singapore.”
Overall, as more people begin to adopt smartwatches as part of their everyday lifestyles, the Apple Watch is expected to continue to lead the way in innovation and popularity.
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