Samsung continues to dominate the smartwatch sector, despite the market fell in the first quarter of 2014, according to ABI.
ABI’s wearable and smart accessories market research said that the smartwatches would develop rapidly in 2014 and 2015, with hybrid activity tracker/smartwatches soon to hit the market.
As the value proposition of smartwatches increases, however, the price will still need to decrease to balance the end-user expectations, the research said.
The first quarter witnessed smartwatches losing to Activity Trackers, as 2.35 million Activity Trackers have been sold in the first quarter of 2014. Fitbit remains the market leader, with a majority share, but will face more competition in Q2 2014 and over the course of the year, especially with Samsung getting ready to launch the hybrid Samsung Gear Fit.
ABI research expects 10 million activity trackers and 7 million smartwatches to be shipped in 2014, says Nick Spenser, senior practice director ABI.
“Activity Trackers are currently the most viable consumer electronics wearable device category, because they have a clear use case that cannot be matched by smartphones, in contrast to smartwatches,” says Nick Spencer, senior practice director ABI.
End users have been avoiding watches and use smartphones to tell the time, so extending smartphone functions to the watch is a weak use case and retrograde step, the report said.
Smartwatch sales dropped significantly in Q1 2014 compared to Q4 2013, due in small part to the seasonal effect of Christmas, but largely due to the imminent launch of Samsung’s Gear smartwatches and Gear Fit activity tracker, according to ABI Research.