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Devices for the Wrist – Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands

77 pages report Published in Nov 2014

Summary

“Devices for the Wrist: Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands,” a Research Report by Pyramid Research,  examines the high growth opportunity which wrist-worn wearable technologies provide, how the ecosystem is developing, positioning strategies of the key industry players, and the launched and announced products to date.  The report provides 5-year projections for shipments and revenue by device segment and global installed base.  The analysis is built around Pyramid's wrist-worn product database of over 70 models, mobile industry forecasts as well as end-user research conducted across several Western European countries and a global survey of over 200 industry players.

Key Findings

  • Following several decades of false starts, wrist-worn technology is becoming an enormous new opportunity: shipments for wrist-worn devices are expected to grow by nearly sevenfold in 2014 and threefold in the following year. Technology developments, high smartphone penetration rates, new applications and the availability of well-designed, easy-to-use devices are some of the key drivers behind this growth.
  • The variety of products available has ballooned, with different designs, capabilities and brands, but the entry of Apple into the market in 2015 will be the key catalyst for growth.
  • Manufacturers face multiple challenges in developing a smart watch that is attractively designed and balances functionality with the right combination of user interfaces. Furthermore, there is an inherent trade-off between functionality and battery life: typically, technology vendors such as Apple and Samsung favor functionality and have had to develop innovative ways in which the user can interact with the device. Traditional watch manufacturers such as Casio and Citizen prioritize battery life and limit functionality. In between are a broad range of different possibilities to meet different needs and tastes.
  • There remains significant potential for product development and improvement, particularly as the chipset and technology suppliers improve their products, with a particular focus on improving battery life.
  • Highly functional smart watches will be dominated by the existing smartphone platforms, but there are also opportunities for devices with lower functionality, particularly for the traditional watch manufacturers, for whom typically design comes above functionality.
  • Fitness and health applications will be a key driver for wearables. Many large technology companies are looking at cloud based health services as an important new revenue opportunity.
  • Bluetooth is the connectivity technology of choice today; Wi-Fi drains batteries quickly but enables independent connectivity and could introduce new opportunities, particularly for mobile operators. We expect that NFC will make the biggest impact, opening the door to new applications, particularly in the areas of access control, loyalty, payments and travel.
  • By 2019, we are projecting shipments to grow by 13-fold from its 2014 level, with more than 10% of the global population wearing a connected wrist-worn device. While the market is expected to be triggered by the Apple Watch, at the same time lower cost devices will also drive the market as chipset and component prices fall; furthermore, the price of connected bands will fall dramatically as new business models become established.

Synopsis

The “Devices for the Wrist: Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands” report analyses the wrist-worn wearable device market opportunity, highlighting the key drivers as to why we believe this product category is now ready to develop.  It provides a global forecast, based on an analysis of the ecosystem, the products on the market, an industry survey, an end-user panel on top of Pyramid Research's deep understanding of the mobile communications industry. Our forecasts include only wrist-worn, wireless-connected devices, segmented into watches and bands, plus a segment for cellular connected devices.

The report is structured as follows:

  • Introduction: Report scope, description of end-user and industry surveys, definitions and market segmentation.
  • Background and overview: Market overview, end-user awareness and background.
  • Ecosystem analysis: Ecosystem overview, key elements and participants.
  • Product analysis: An examination of 70 connected wrist-worn devices including key challenges, segment overviews, user interface, design elements, functionality, battery life, pricing and product positioning.
  • Forecasts: Global shipments and revenues, with breakdowns by segment; global installed base and penetration.

Reasons To Buy

  • The “Devices for the Wrist: Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands” report provides a comprehensive examination the nascent wrist-worn wearable technology opportunity to help executives  make informed  investment decisions, develop effective partnerships and optimize return on investment.
  • This report provides a five-year forecast of wrist worn wearable volumes and revenues broken down into three segments, namely bands, smart watches and cellular watches as well as a population penetration and installed base analysis to enable executives assess growth opportunities and position their companies for emerging trends in demand
  • The report incorporates a detailed product analysis, highlighting the features, functions, pricing and capabilities of over 70 product models on the market, which  provides an in-depth overview of key trends in the wrist-worn device market for any stakeholder and should support vendors in developing competitive strategies as well as differentiation.
  • Survey data is included into the analysis, including both end-user awareness information as well as the results on an online industry survey to assess the industry's position and expectations of the market opportunity.
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