The race is on to capture the fledgling smartwatch market but to the extent that there’s already a winner, it seems to be Samsung.
A new report by market researcher Strategic Analysis finds that smartwatch shipments grew 250 per cent from Q1 2014 and that Samsung dominated.
“The market was driven heavily by Samsung and its Galaxy Gear model, which is outperforming all major rivals like Motorola and Pebble,” writes analyst Neil Mawston.
Mawston calculates that retailers and other stores ordered 700,000 smartwatches worldwide from all vendors and 500,000 of those were Samsung models, VentureBeat’s Michael Leibel reports.
Note that these shipments don’t indicate how many smartwatches people actually bought. That number is likely far lower. Business Insider Intelligence forecasts that 91.6 million smartwatch units will sell globally in 2018. With an average selling price of about $US100, that translates to a $US9.2 billion market.
But, if Apple’s iWatch really does appear later this year as is rumoured, in the next few years, the smartwatch could become even more popular. BI Intelligence also predicts that about 1 in 20 smartphones will be paired in some way with smartwatches as smartwatches add fitness features, and absorb the smart-fitness-bands market.
Though it’s hard to find a smartwatch gracing the arm of someone outside of Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley, through just the first half of 2013, the Kickstarter-launched Pebble watch shipped 93,000 devices and took over 275,000 preorders.
So demand is certainly there, if these watches can become more fashionable, and add some killer, must-have apps.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.