In terms of marketshare, the Apple Watch’s watchOS compared to Google’s Android Wear is likely to follow a similar trajectory to iOS and Android.
In other words, while Apple is dominating right now in smartwatch shipments, that balance promises to shift somewhat over the coming years as new low-cost competitors enter the market.
This is according to International Data Corporation (IDC)’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, which forecasts the growth of the wearable tech industry between now and 2020.
IDC thinks that, while watchOS will continue to be the market leader for smartwatch share in 2020 (with 37.6 percent of the market), this will be a substantially smaller lead compared to Android Wear’s 35 percent than the current 49.4 percent (for Apple) to 21.4 percent (for Google) market share divide that currently exists.
It would also suggest (although it doesn’t state) that Android Wear will most likely take the lead from watchOS somewhere around 2021 or 2022. (Of course, as Android’s battle with iOS has demonstrated, market share is a flawed metric for trying to gauge profitability.)
IDC additionally suggests that a growing number of alternative wearable form factors will be made available over the coming years. Including clothing and eyewear, around 9.8 million such units will ship this year, with this number set to more than double by 2020. However the focus of the industry is likely to remain on smartwatches — meaning that an Apple-branded smart jacket probably isn’t on the immediate horizon.
Check out IDC’s predictions below. And how’s about we meet back here in a few years time to see how they hold up?