The Apple Watch is the hottest smartwatch on the market. And it looks like it is going to stay that way for a while.
A report by International Data Corporation says the Apple Watch will lead a rapidly growing wearables market through at least 2019 as a skeptical public gets won over by more sophisticated second- and third-generation devices.
IDC projects Apple to sell 13 million watches this year for a little more than 61 percent of the market share. The number of Apple Watches sold will reach 45.2 million by 2019, according to IDC’s report.
Apple’s market share will actually slip a little by then, according to the report, but still be more than 50 percent as overall smartwatch shipments grow from 21.3 million to 88.3 million over that same time frame.
Android Wear will gain market share on smartwatch pioneer Pebble, but be a “distant second” to Apple. Android watches are expected to grow from 3.2 million shipped this year to 34.4 million by 2019 for about 39 percent market share, IDC said.
“Apple’s watchOS will lead the smartwatch market throughout our forecast, with a loyal fanbase of Apple product owners and a rapidly growing application selection, including both native apps and watch-design apps,” according to a press release published on the IDC website. “Very quickly, watch OS has become the measuring stick against which other smartwatches and platforms are compared.
“While there is much room for improvement and additional features, there is enough momentum to keep it ahead of the rest of the market.”
Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s wearables team, said today’s smartwatch will not be recognizable in a few years. He said cellular connective, additional health sensors, and a growing third-party application market will raise the market – and the smartwatch’s appeal.