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Devices for the Wrist - Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands

Published By :

Pyramid Research

Published Date : Nov 2014

Category :


No. of Pages : 77 Pages

Devices for the Wrist: Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands,” a Research Report by Pyramid Research,  examines the high growth opportunity which wrist-worn wearable technologies provide, how the ecosystem is developing, positioning strategies of the key industry players, and the launched and announced products to date.  The report provides 5-year projections for shipments and revenue by device segment and global installed base.  The analysis is built around Pyramid's wrist-worn product database of over 70 models, mobile industry forecasts as well as end-user research conducted across several Western European countries and a global survey of over 200 industry players.

Key Findings

  • Following several decades of false starts, wrist-worn technology is becoming an enormous new opportunity: shipments for wrist-worn devices are expected to grow by nearly sevenfold in 2014 and threefold in the following year. Technology developments, high smartphone penetration rates, new applications and the availability of well-designed, easy-to-use devices are some of the key drivers behind this growth.
  • The variety of products available has ballooned, with different designs, capabilities and brands, but the entry of Apple into the market in 2015 will be the key catalyst for growth.
  • Manufacturers face multiple challenges in developing a smart watch that is attractively designed and balances functionality with the right combination of user interfaces. Furthermore, there is an inherent trade-off between functionality and battery life: typically, technology vendors such as Apple and Samsung favor functionality and have had to develop innovative ways in which the user can interact with the device. Traditional watch manufacturers such as Casio and Citizen prioritize battery life and limit functionality. In between are a broad range of different possibilities to meet different needs and tastes.
  • There remains significant potential for product development and improvement, particularly as the chipset and technology suppliers improve their products, with a particular focus on improving battery life.
  • Highly functional smart watches will be dominated by the existing smartphone platforms, but there are also opportunities for devices with lower functionality, particularly for the traditional watch manufacturers, for whom typically design comes above functionality.
  • Fitness and health applications will be a key driver for wearables. Many large technology companies are looking at cloud based health services as an important new revenue opportunity.
  • Bluetooth is the connectivity technology of choice today; Wi-Fi drains batteries quickly but enables independent connectivity and could introduce new opportunities, particularly for mobile operators. We expect that NFC will make the biggest impact, opening the door to new applications, particularly in the areas of access control, loyalty, payments and travel.
  • By 2019, we are projecting shipments to grow by 13-fold from its 2014 level, with more than 10% of the global population wearing a connected wrist-worn device. While the market is expected to be triggered by the Apple Watch, at the same time lower cost devices will also drive the market as chipset and component prices fall; furthermore, the price of connected bands will fall dramatically as new business models become established.


 The “Devices for the Wrist: Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands” report analyses the wrist-worn wearable device market opportunity, highlighting the key drivers as to why we believe this product category is now ready to develop.  It provides a global forecast, based on an analysis of the ecosystem, the products on the market, an industry survey, an end-user panel on top of Pyramid Research's deep understanding of the mobile communications industry. Our forecasts include only wrist-worn, wireless-connected devices, segmented into watches and bands, plus a segment for cellular connected devices.

The report is structured as follows:

  • Introduction: Report scope, description of end-user and industry surveys, definitions and market segmentation.
  • Background and overview: Market overview, end-user awareness and background.
  • Ecosystem analysis: Ecosystem overview, key elements and participants.
  • Product analysis: An examination of 70 connected wrist-worn devices including key challenges, segment overviews, user interface, design elements, functionality, battery life, pricing and product positioning.  
  • Forecasts: Global shipments and revenues, with breakdowns by segment; global installed base and penetration.

Reasons To Buy

  • The “Devices for the Wrist: Ecosystems Crucial to Growth of Connected Watches and Bands” report provides a comprehensive examination the nascent wrist-worn wearable technology opportunity to help executives  make informed  investment decisions, develop effective partnerships and optimize return on investment.
  • This report provides a five-year forecast of wrist worn wearable volumes and revenues broken down into three segments, namely bands, smartwatches and cellular watches as well as a population penetration and installed base analysis to enable executives assess growth opportunities and position their companies for emerging trends in demand
  • The report incorporates a detailed product analysis, highlighting the features, functions, pricing and capabilities of over 70 product models on the market, which  provides an in-depth overview of key trends in the wrist-worn device market for any stakeholder and should support vendors in developing competitive strategies as well as differentiation.  
  • Survey data is included into the analysis, including both end-user awareness information as well as the results on an online industry survey to assess the industry's position and expectations of the market opportunity.
Table of Contents

I.Report scope, definitions and segmentation
II.Survey and panel overview

Section 1: Market overview and background
I. Overview of wearables and connected watch opportunity
II. End-user awareness
III. Industry expectations
IV.Watch market overview
V.Smart watch history

Section 2: Analysis of the smart watch ecosystem
I. Smart watch ecosystem overview, brand positioning and key takeaways
II.Application developers: Positioning strategies
V. Traditional watch manufacturers: Positioning strategies
VIII.Smart watch platforms/vendors: Positioning strategies
XII.Mobile network operators: Positioning strategies
ii.NTT Docomo
XVI. Chipset and component manufacturers: Positioning strategies

Section 3: Assessment of wrist-worn products
I. Key takeaways
II.Product and manufacturer overview
III.Product segmentation and pricing
i.Smart watches
iii.Cellular-connected smart watches
IV.Product challenges
V.Product analysis
i.User interface
ii.Interactivity and functionality
iii.Android Wear user interface
v.Battery life
vi.Functions and applications
vii.Android Wear applications
VI.Product positioning: Price versus functionality
VII.Product connectivity

Section 4: 5-Year forecast of wrist-worn device shipments, revenue and installed base 64
I. Key forecast assumptions
II.Industry survey results: Population penetration expectation for 2019
III.End user awareness
III. Product availability
IV. Wrist-worn device shipments by segment
V. Bands: Shipment and revenue forecast
VI. Cellular smart watch: Shipment & revenue forecast
VII. Smart watches: Shipment and revenue forecast
VIII.Global installed base and penetration forecast
Appendices 75
Companies mentioned
Sources and related research
About Pyramid Research

List of Table

Product count by segment 10
Overview of survey and panel surveys 11
Survey respondent breakdown by company type 12
Survey respondent breakdown by region 12
Smartphone penetration in selected markets, ye 2013 14
“Which of the following have you heard of?” 15
“Which of the following wearable technologies have you heard of?” 16
“In five years time, what level of population penetration do you expect to see for wearable connected devices (in your country)? 17
“Please rank the following types of wearable devices in the order of how successful you expect them to be over the next five years” 17
“Is your company involved in the connected wearable device market?” 18
“Which of the following devices are/will be within the scope of your company’s involvement in the connected wearable device market?” 18
Global watch revenue, 2012, 2013 19
Average watch prices by country of manufacture, 2013 19
Early smart watch failures 20
Smart watch ecosystem 22
“In your view, how would strong adoption levels of wearable devices impact the following?” 23
“Please rank the following brands in the order of how successful you expect them to be in wrist-worn wearable devices” 24
Runtastic pro app 27
Positioning of watch vendors and smart watches 29
Swatch Touch 30
Positioning of smartphone manufacturers 33
Cellular-enabled watches and subscription costs 37
AT&T devices (Filip watch, Martian watch, Fitbit Flex) 38
NTT Docomo’s Move Band 2 39
Limmex emergency watches offered by Swisscom 40
Smith Optics I/O Recon connected goggles 40
Apple S1 SIP and Qualcomm TOQ Smartwatch 41
MediaTek LinkIt overview 42
Manufacturer breakdown by type 45
Prices by segment: low, average and high 46
Yingqu InWatch One, Garmin Forerunner, Tomoon Fire 47
Sony Smartband Talk, Jawbone Up24 48
Filip, hereo and Tinitell wristphones for children 49
Samsung Gear Live, Timex Ironman One GPS+ 49
“How important are the following challenges that the industry must overcome to ensure mass market adoption of wearable devices?” 50
“How would you expect the user to interact with connected devices worn on the wrist?” 51
Product positioning: functionality and user interface 52
Android wear menu and user interface 53
Apple Watch designs 54
Smart watches with classic designs 55
Kairos smart watch has both a classic and a digital screen 55
Watch battery life 56
“How important do you think the following applications will be in driving wearable device adoption?” 57
Early Android wear applications by category 58
Product positioning 59
Wearable connectivity capability 60
“Please rate the importance of the following ways in which wearable devices connect” 61
Telefonica’s TU Go service 62
Apple Pay on an Apple Watch 63
Starwood Hotel watch app 64
Connected wrist-worn device shipments, 2013-2019 65
“In five years time, what level of population penetration do you expect to see for wearable connected devices (in your country)? 66
“Which of the following new technologies have you heard of?” 67
“Which of the following statements do you consider to best represent wearable technology in 2014?” 67
Bands, cellular smart watches and smart watches launched 2012-2014 68
Segment market shares, millions of shipped units, 2013-2019 69
Connected band shipments and revenue, 2013-2019 70
Cellular smart watch shipments and revenue, 2013-2019 71
Smart watch shipments and revenue, 2013-2019 72
Wrist-worn device installed base and population penetration, 2013-2019 73

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