Within less than a year of its availability, Apple Watch dominates the global smartwatch market, outpacing its major rival, Android Wear. While Apple's smartwatch accounted for 52% of global shipments, Android smartwatches had just 10% in 2015.
Marc Newson's prediction appears to be coming true. Newson, who played a key role in designing the Apple Watch along with chief designer Jonathan Ive, had said that the Apple Watch would be a game changer. He was quoted as saying: "In five years' time I have absolutely no doubt this will be right up there."
Samsung's Gear S2 smartwatch powered with the home-grown operating system Tizen failed to generate strong sales since its launch in November 2015, despite the wearable device receiving positive reviews. Other players that managed to cause a stir with their low-priced smartwatches in the market belong to small brands such as Martian, X and Razer.
New data for smartwatches trend, vendor strategies and forecasts by market research firm Juniper Research suggests that apart from Apple Watch, cheaper smartwatches featuring basic functionality with an app-capable operating system have significant market shares. It also suggests that although vendors have smartwatches catering to different segments of the market at suitable retail prices, there has been no great leap that "has revolutionised the category".
According to Juniper, the smartwatch ecosystem is growing rapidly, with companies creating more games and productivity-based apps. James Moar, the research author, said: "The smartwatch is now a category waiting for a market. Newer devices have offered more polished looks and subtly different functions, but no large changes in device capabilities or usage. With smartwatch functions established, it is now up to consumers to decide if they want them, rather than technology companies providing more reasons."