By 2020, smartwatches will overtake activity trackers in popularity, steadily increasing further over the next few years. ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies, forecasts that smartwatch shipments will increase from 40 million in 2018 to over 108 million in 2023, while activity trackers will rise from over 52 million to over 67 million. This shift in device popularity has influenced the vendor share of the smartwatch market, with Apple’s share dropping 14% between 4Q 2017 and 1Q 2018, allowing other vendors to contribute more.
“A growing number of features are being added to smartwatches, including activity tracking capabilities, which is increasing their desirability and popularity by consumers and enterprises,” said Stephanie Lawrence, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Users do not want multiple devices that can do the same thing. “It’s natural that they will opt for the smartwatch which has more functionality, and as the number of different smartwatches available continues to grow, an increasing number of customers are opting for devices other than the Apple Watch.”
Many companies that provide smartwatches offer them with activity tracking capabilities included. For example, the Apple Watch 3, Samsung Gear S3, and LG Watch Sport are all smartwatches with these features, ensuring that users only have to purchase one device that has it all. With this increasing popularity of smartwatches, customers are opting for a wider range of devices rather than just the Apple Watch. Vendors such as Samsung, Motorola, and LG saw an increase in market share between 4Q 2017 and 1Q 2018 as the number of shipments grows.
Fitbit is also taking part of this share, as two of its latest devices are smartwatches, indicating that the larger companies are aware of this market shift. The company was originally focused on activity tracking devices, but the latest smartwatches offer this tracking functionality as well as all the usual smartwatch features. These devices come with a higher price point than the original activity trackers but prevent users who desire both smartwatch and activity tracking features from purchasing and using multiple devices. Fitbit’s share of the smartwatch market is already at 10%, higher than that of Samsung, Motorola, and LG.
“More and more companies are expected to offer smartwatches with extended functionality as the demand by consumers increases, indicating a further spread of the vendor share of the market,” Lawrence concluded.
These findings are from ABI Research’s Wearable Device Market Share and Forecasts report. This report is part of the company’s Wearables, Usables, and Expendables research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.