At the beginning of the month Juniper Research published a report predicting that the wearable technology industry will increase from 27 million device shipments in 2014, to a whopping 116 million in 2017.
And now the IT analyst has added further fuel to the wearable tech market boom fire by stating that by the end of 2019, there will be 100 million smartwatch users worldwide.
The predictions echo what analyst CCS Insight said back in August; when it forecast that of an estimated 135 million wearable tech device sales in 2018, 68 million would be smartwatches. Juniper previously said, "it will take until 2017 for more smart watches to be used than fitness wearables."
According to the new report 2014 and 2015 will see the fastest growth for smartwatches, thanks to the growth of Android Wear and the Apple Watch launch, and the rate of acceleration will slow in 2016.
No budget options?
Juniper predicts that the average price for a smartwatch will stay above $200 until at least 2020, and smaller players will struggle to carve out a budget smartwatch market as consumers looks to the traditional tech powerhouses for the latest must-have wearables. This differs from a recent Gartner report that stated smartwatches could be available for as little as $30 by next year.
Interestingly, the report also states "smartwatches will slowly gain more sales outlets as brands outside the technology sector, such as luxury watch maker TAG Heuer, enter the smart watch space."
We've already seen reports that the likes of TAG and Swatch are looking to get in on the smartwatch market and there are also examples of existing smartwatch brands teaming up with traditional fashion brands for smartwatch assaults.
The smartwatch genre is very much one still in its infancy and manufacturers are treading carefully with consumers still not accepting the new form factor en masse.
However, with Android Wear evolving at a rapid rate, Apple set to come to the party in 2015, and a host of interesting smartwatch partnerships in the works, it's clear that Juniper's research could be on the money.
While the smartwatch may never entirely kill the smartphone, it's certainly not an industry to be ignored.
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