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The Hybrid Smartwatch emerges as a force to be reckoned with upcoming smart watches trends.
Not too long ago a man named Eric Migicovsky founded the Pebble brand of smart watches with the biggest ever Kickstarter fundraiser. The Pebble smartwatch was in its time revolutionary and became the talk of the town. Unfortunately due to mismanagement the company then fell by the wayside and was eventually saved from bankruptcy by Fitbit. Nevertheless the smartwatch revolution continued with the likes of Apple and Samsung taking charge of the helm. Since then innovative, agile and highly functional players have won increasing market share in this lucrative business by introducing upcoming smart watches to the marketplace after carefully analyzing and predicting trends.
Juniper Research defines a smartwatch as being a wrist-based wearable that emulates traditional watch designs, as well as providing additional digital functionality. Typically the smartwatch will have a digital display and run on an on-device operating system like Apple Watch or Android Wear. Juniper Research goes further to divide smartwatches into a second category, namely hybrid watches. i.e. Analogue or hybrid watches are classic looking timepieces that combine the look and functionality of traditional watches with abilities that are evident in today’s smartwatches. Discreetly housed in the casing of these devices is technology that keeps tabs on your daily activity and sleep metrics. Some even display and alert to smartphone notifications, harmful UV rays alerts, forgot phone features and contactless payments. Good examples of hybrid watches are the Skagen hybrid connected range of watches, Fossil Q hybrid watches, Muse Wearables and Withings Activity.
When Apple launched the Apple Watch in 2014 the general perception in the marketplace was that a smartwatch could do pretty much everything. As the smartwatch market has evolved the Juniper Research report shows that smartwatches are settling into functionality categories of usage such as fitness (34%), communication (30%), maps (28%), health (28%) and social media (16%). The latest IDC figures available suggest that up to 72 million smartwatches will be shipped by 2021.Upcoming smart watches trends reveal the resurgence of the Hybrid Smartwatch
Juniper Research’s data also suggests sales of hybrid connected watches will soar to 80 million units in 2022 from 17 million units in 2017. Juniper Research has split hybrid watches into two segments, each with a 50/50 equal split between analogue hybrids and touchscreen hybrids. Juniper Research goes on to further suggest that sales of touchscreen hybrid watches are expected to grow by 160% by 2022 but the analogue hybrid watch market is expected to grow by a whopping 460% from 14 million units in 2017. Furthermore Juniper expects that by 2022 around 50% of smartwatches will have GPS functionality.
Big companies use this type of data from companies like Juniper Research to tune themselves and their positioning into market requirements. For example the slower growth of touchscreen smartwatches has caused several manufacturers to retreat and leave that market segment. Notable examples of this are are Motorola, Huawei and Sony. The manufacturers who have chosen to remain are pivoting towards specific usage of smartwatches like for example the strategies of Samsung, Garmin, Casio and Fitbit with fitness, sports tracking, diving etc. These developments will have an impact on every aspect of smartwatches from their design for specific uses to their presentation and sale by retailers to the end consumer.
As the above data suggests Juniper has forecast sales of display smartwatches to begin to slow down next year and there will most likely be an even split in sales between hybrid and touchscreen display smartwatches. The key point for the surge in hybrid watch sales is the battery life which can last up to even around 1 year depending on usage whereas display smartwatches have a ridiculously low battery life. Typically the average touchscreen display smartwatch would have a battery life of around 1 day depending on usage. This is because the many applications running at the same time independently of each other a drain battery resources just by being activated.
The best selling upcoming smartwatches of the future will not necessarily be smart as smartwatches have been imagined to be for some time, rather they will be watches incorporating elements of the past will elements of the future. This is why the connected hybrid smartwatch is going to surge like a shooting star does away from the rest. It appears like the connected hybrid smartwatch will act like a bridge connecting the past to the future.
The rise of the connected hybrid smartwatch brings a sigh of relief to the Swiss watch industry which has been suffering from declining sales over the last few years due to the rise of the smartwatch from the likes of Apple and Samsung. Generally the Swiss industry did not get involved in the smartwatch market until the advent of the connected hybrid smartwatch. Now the likes of Samsung and Meizu are also keen on tapping into this lucrative growth market. Furthermore the increasing demand for designer hybrid smartwatches has triggered an increasing number of collaborations and joint ventures between technology brands and luxury designer watch making brands. This merger of worlds may facilitate the evolution of both the Swiss watch industry and the incorporation of even more advanced smart features like perhaps the inclusion of Artificial intelligence in the not to distant future. The days of ugly fitness trackers and bulky smartwatches targeting tech geeks are no doubt behind us. If you like the functions of a smartwatch but prefer the classic look of an beautiful analog timepiece, then a hybrid smartwatch might be just right for you.
The evolution of the smartwatch industry certainly provides an exciting and lucrative future for new start-ups or new entrants who are able to provide a really good looking and functional analog type watch with discreet connected hybrid features giving the likes of Apple Watch, Fitbit Iconic, Garmin and Samsung Gear S3 a decent run for their money. WatchiWatches is a good place to keep track of all of the major new trends and products in the watch industry with great trusted watch reviews and accompanying content which sheds further light and analysis on the best of the best in the smartwatch market as well as publishing regular updates on upcoming smart watches and trends.
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