Is Smartwatch the Next Big Thing?

Google and Apple set to lock horns in the smartwatch market

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) are both dominant tech companies in their own ways and they are both in the Smartphone markets with the iPhone controlling the greater market share. Google’s Android phones have made Smartphones affordable but currently Apple has an iron grip in this market segment. While their duel for the smartphone and tablet markets, which seem to have reached maturity, is still on, the two companies are again set to lock horns in a new a category, the smartwatch market. It is understood that the growth in Smartphone market has slowed down and companies are finding ways to deal with it in the future. Smartwatch is the new category that has been identified by both Google and Apple as the potential growth driver. This has also been boosted by the fact that the leading smartwatch models that are already available in the market have not attracted a huge following.  Samsung Galaxy Gear, which has not been well received, is merely an extension of the Smartphone functionality.

The Current Smartwatch Market

In an interview with Forbes magazine, Pascal Koenig, the director of Switzerland-based Smartwatch Group, said the current market for Smartphone is valued at $700 million but is expected to increase to $2.5 billion this year. Smartphone Group is a newly incorporated research company that studies the global Smartwatch industry. According to the research group, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (KRX:005935)  holds the greater share of the market with 34%, with models such as Nike, Garmin, Sony and others contributing less than 10% each. However, the market is expected to tilt greatly when global conglomerates Google and Apple enter the market. Apple is known to bring innovative features to the table, and what’s more, it has a loyal customer base that approves any product it releases. On the other hand, Google boasts of affordability and already it has raised stakes against Apple in battle to own the largest share in the wearable revolution.  Addressing South by Southwest interactive conference, Sundar Pichai – the head of Android at Google – announced that Google is planning to release mobile Android OS version for wearable.

Google’s Android Wear

android smartware
android smartwatch

On March 20th, Google posted, in its official Android blog, a post reviewing the details of the Android Smartwatched, otherwise known as the “Android Wear.” Google is doing this in partnership with gadget manufacturers such as HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Asus. As a matter of fact, both LG and Motorola have already, on separate occasion, announced the smart-watches. And the first wearable will be Moto 360 smart watch from Motorola.

Basic Features of Android Wear

  • Android Wear to decipher spoken words and give straight answers; for instance, they will be able to activate Google searches on command “OK Google”.
  • Act as your calendar with reminders of important meetings and events.
  • They will be able to connect with your phone and TV, as well as other compatible devices.
  • Will act as heart rate monitors and will be synched with fitness apps to measure the important parameters during exercise.

This news will not arguer well for tech giant Apple owing to the fact that the Android is growing so fast. As Sundar Pichai , said in the post, Google is working with not only gadget firms as aforementioned, but also chip makers as well as fashion labels to come up with more Android-based wearable gadgets.

The iWatch Rumour

Apple’s iWatch

There are rumours going round the tech world that Apple will soon launch the iWatch. The rumour dates back to as early 2013 when leading major dailies, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal covered a story about Apple trying iOS on watches made of curved glass. The matter has since escalated with Bloomberg reporting that the tech giant had employed a number of wearable computing experts to produce a new category of product since Steve Job’s demise.  By now Brian Dolan from MobiHealthNews believes the team working on this new product has since grown to about 200 people.

What is the Potential of the Smartwatch Market?

Apple’s products have been known to set new records whenever they are launched. Also as aforesaid, Apple has a loyal customer base willing to pay more for its products. The iPhone generated $2.5 billion in its first 12 months, and the iPad generated a whooping $13 billion in the same period. The iWatch, being a high-end product, is expected to generate more revenues in its first 12 months more than the iPad did. Morgan Stanley estimates that the iWatch will bring in close to $17.5 billion in its first year. It has been estimated that close to 485 million Smatchwatches will be sold over the next decade. As it stands, Smartwatch is the next revolutionary product since the Smartphone revolution. It would be interesting to see how the battle for rich smartwatch market unfold, given that Samsung and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) have also partnered with other companies to come with Tizen operating system. Samsung has always used Android in its smartphones and has also partnered with Google Android for the production of a new variety of Smartwatches. This move according to Samsung, will offer its customers a variety of choices. This article is written by Walter Oduor for Spunsofts Writers. Walter is freelance writer and commentator. View his full profile here.


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