The Apple Watch will continue to lead the smartwatch market in 2018, despite added pressure from Fitbit and continued efforts from Samsung and Fossil.
That's according to a fresh forecast from CCS Insight, who also note that the Cupertino giant will account for more than 50% of the $7.9 billion smartwatch market in 2017, selling an estimated 14 million units.
Next year, the firm indicates that 60 million watches will be sold, with Apple's proposed domination due to the expected arrival of its cellular connected Apple Watch Series 3.
"The addition of enhanced fitness tracking capabilities and waterproofing has given [the Apple Watch Series 2] a huge boost. Apple stands head and shoulders above its smartwatch rivals and the much-anticipated introduction of a cellular-enabled version would only propel it to greater heights," said CCS Insight's analyst George Jijiashvili.
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However, while the smartwatch market is set to return to growth next year, it will do so at a lower rate and with lower average prices. And with many new brands, such as those under the Fossil umbrella, entering the market for the first time, it could prove to be a critical year, CCS says.
"Several established brands are entering the smartwatch market for the first time. If sales don't live up to expectations and distributors end up with a lot of unsold stock in mid-2018, they may reconsider their involvement in this area," Jijiashvili continued.
CCS Insight also suggests the fitness tracker market will hit 44 million sales in the coming year, with China making for the biggest volume of connected devices. This is largely thanks to the sales of kids trackers, which are expected to hit 20 million in 2018.
Of course, while all these numbers are indicative of the general feeling within the wearable tech industry, there's no guarantees that this translates from year to year, so make sure to take it all with a pinch of salt for now.
Source: CCS Insight