After years of letting the industry down, the wearables segment has seemingly finally got its act together, with sales totalling $2 billion in the second quarter of 2019.
According to estimates from Canalys, shipments in the second quarter increased 38% year-on-year to 7.7 million devices, with Apple leading the market share rankings, though homage should be paid to Samsung. The Korean brand saw shipments more than double, 121% year-on-year increase, to roughly 800,000 devices.
“Smartwatch vendors are increasingly getting nearer the bullseye – hitting the right price point in a way that spurs massive demand,” said
“With Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch branding in place, and showing robust performance, the company has moved to cultivate a fitness-focused line-up with the Galaxy Watch Active series, with prices between $200 and $300.
“Packing features into a compact form factor that has an appealing design is challenging but rewarding. Samsung most recently showcased these capabilities with its latest Watch Active 2 series, though other vendors are close behind.”
Of course, this market has offered many false dawns for the excitable industry on the whole, and Samsung has been one of the contributors to this trauma. Despite having a leadership position in the smartphone space, Samsung has struggled to translate this into the wearables market, though these numbers suggest the Korean brand has turned a corner.
Overall, this is a very promising trend to keep an eye on. There is a huge amount of potential for the wearables market, especially now more connectivity and entertainment options can be embedded into the products.
This is perhaps what has stuttered enthusiasm for these products over the last few years. They are functional products, few would suggest smartwatches can compete with traditional time pieces from a fashion perspective, though the functionality was never enough to justify the financial outlay. Introducing stand-alone connectivity and embedded more features is addressing this challenge, while the progress of the voice user interface will add another element.
Interestingly enough, this might just be the tip of the iceberg. The more normalised smartwatch devices become, the more open consumers will be to other connected devices. It might not be too-long before we are talking about LTE-connected glasses or headphones to act as an alternative to communications devices.