Why Wearables Sales, Led by Apple Watch, Could Take Off in 2015

1 - Why Wearables Sales, Led by Apple Watch, Could Take Off in 2015
2 - Apple Watch Is Poised to Set the Pace
3 - Smartwatches in General Will Be More Popular
4 - Fitness and Activity Devices Are on the Rise
5 - Eyewear Prominently Missing From 2015 Wearable Sales
6 - Expect to Hear More From Google Glass
7 - Wearables Could Break Out of Market Niche
8 - Sony Jumps Into the Eyewear Space
9 - Don't Forget the Wearable Camera Factor
10 - Wearables and Smartphones Will Go Hand-in-Hand
11 - Market Growth Depends on Apple Watch Success
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Why Wearables Sales, Led by Apple Watch, Could Take Off in 2015

by Don Reisinger

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Apple Watch Is Poised to Set the Pace

Apple Watch, which is slated to hit store shelves in early 2015, will likely be the product that drives the growth of wearables in 2015, CCS Insight says. In fact, the company believes that Apple will sell 20 million units in 2015, making it the "most successful smartwatch ever."

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Smartwatches in General Will Be More Popular

The entire smartwatch market will likely benefit from Apple Watch sales in 2015, according to CCS Insight. The Apple Watch will propel smartwatches to nab a healthy chunk of the wearables market—about 40 percent by the end of the year. According to CCS Insight, a quarter of the wearables space will go to Apple Watch, leaving the remaining 75 percent to all other device makers, such as Pebble, LG, Samsung and Motorola. In total, eight times more smartwatches will be sold in 2015 compared with 2014.

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Fitness and Activity Devices Are on the Rise

Fitness and activity devices will also be widely popular in 2015, according to the research firm. That category will see sales double in 2015 compared with 2014, and nab the majority of the market. In total, 75 million wearables will ship in 2015, with about half coming from fitness and activity wristbands.

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Eyewear Prominently Missing From 2015 Wearable Sales

One of the more interesting findings from CCS Insight's study is that eyewear-mounted computing will be missing from 2015 wearables market share reports. The company says that eyewear will be a nonfactor for wearables until products hit store shelves that appeal to corporate customers. In other words, Google Glass, which Google is rethinking after withdrawing the device from its public evaluation program, won't help eyewear sales take off in 2015.

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Expect to Hear More From Google Glass

Google Glass earlier this year was taken off digital store shelves so the search company could go back to the drawing board and come up with something new. As of late, rumors have surfaced saying that Google is planning to announce an update to Glass sometime later this year. Since more companies are jumping into eyewear, such an announcement seems likely if Google wants to keep up with this market.

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Wearables Could Break Out of Market Niche

CCS Insight confirmed in its study that the wearables market, with just 29 million unit shipments across all categories in 2014, remains a niche in early 2015. However, the company suggested that situation could change if sales take off later in the year. If the market responds the way it's expected to in 2015, CCS says that by 2018, wearables could become a mainstream technology category.

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Sony Jumps Into the Eyewear Space

Looking beyond the wearables study from CCS, it appears that Sony seems primed to enter the market this year. The company has launched a developer version of its SmartEyeGlass Attach monocle and will likely launch the consumer build sometime this year. Sony's smart monocle attaches to users' current eyewear and provides relevant digital information based on what they are doing.

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Don't Forget the Wearable Camera Factor

Although they're not typically viewed as part of the wearables market, cameras that can be mounted on a person's head or body, like the GoPro, will play a crucial role in the growth of wearables sales. In fact, 6 million wearable cameras were sold in 2014, and that number will rise considerably in 2015 as more people see value in products like the GoPro.

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Wearables and Smartphones Will Go Hand-in-Hand

An important factor in the market is that many of the wearables hitting store shelves this year, such as the Apple Watch, will require smartphone integration to access important features. Therefore, CCS says that smartphones will help drive wearables sales, and wearables sales will prompt customers to pick up new smartphones that support their products.

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Market Growth Depends on Apple Watch Success

CCS Insight cautioned that there is also a very real possibility that the wearables market could stumble out of the gate. If Apple Watch turns out to be a flop, CCS states it could kick the legs out from under the entire smartwatch market. As a result, wearables will remain a very small part of the broader mobile industry for years to come. Yes, Apple Watch is that important.

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