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Apple Watch on Pace to Close 2015 with 68 Percent of Smartwatch Market
Wearable Tech World Feature Article
August 19, 2015
Apple Watch on Pace to Close 2015 with 68 Percent of Smartwatch Market
By Steve Anderson
Contributing TMCnet Writer

Wearable technology had long been a part of the technology market as we knew it, but the idea of wearable tech for regular users really hadn't sunk in until the Apple (News - Alert) Watch made its appearance. Now, a new report from Tractica suggests that the Apple Watch will be a very big part of the market indeed, taking up 68 percent of the total worldwide smartwatch market share.

Not only will Apple Watch represent much of the smartwatch market, it will ship around 16.7 million total smartwatches, which means an expected total market of around 24.4 million smartwatches in general, with Apple's entry making up that 68 percent number. As for what's driving Apple's impressive numbers in that field? The ongoing expansion of the app ecosystem is pointed to as one major factor, as is the growth of Apple Pay and further software improvements.

Perhaps most important, though, is its increasing demand in the Chinese market. Apple has been exerting a lot of effort and putting plenty of resources into retailing and driving market demand for the Apple Watch in China, and it seems to be paying off. Adding to this is a fairly likely chance of a price reduction before the end of the year—just in time for holiday shopping season, no less—and a second generation version likely to follow sometime in early 2016, or at least the announcement of such a tool.

The Tractica report goes on from there, running down the overall market picture for smartwatches and projects forward seven years through 2020. It also looks at major issues of technology, the players in the market, and applications for the smartwatch beyond regular consumer use.

Some have said that the smartwatch market in general has proven something of a disappointment, and that Apple's status as the biggest fish in a comparatively small pond isn't much of an achievement. But it's worth keeping in mind that smartwatches are still a fairly new product. Noting also the fairly slim numbers of product that has shipped worldwide so far—given a global population of around seven billion, shipping 24.4 million smartwatches means somewhere around one in every 300 people is buying one—it's also fairly clear that most people aren't seeing a point to the smartwatch, and that's something that more aggressive marketing might be able to address. But factoring in the rise of Apple Pay may also be a help here; as more places accept it, the ability to pay for products with a thing on your wrist may be a valuable selling point, as it beats carrying a wallet or purse. Throw in a price drop and new versions, and the Apple Watch could be primed for big gains.

Still, it's early days, and with more to come in the near future, there's a lot of reason to be optimistic about this new technology. It won't reach a point of global success unaided, and will need plenty of help from better marketing, more apps, and that ongoing rise of Apple Pay to really push it to success.

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