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Smart watch shipments to hit 36m by 2018

Juniper Research predicts smart watch market to grow due to multi-function devices

Smart watch shipments to hit 36m by 2018
The smart watch segment will include dashboard/console devices that work in conjunction with another platform, and multi-function devices that will have their own capabilities.

Juniper Research is predicting that the app-enabled smart watch market will reach 36 million units per year by 2018, compared to just over 1 million units this year.

The analyst company says that the sector is set to expand with the emergence of a new form of smart watch, the multi-function device.

At present, it defines most smart watch devices as dashboard/console devices. A Dashboard/Console watch can be, in simple terms, referred to as a ‘dumb display' watch working in conjunction with an external platform such as the smartphone. The main functionality of such devices will be to connect to the smartphone via an app to display call, text and email alerts and in some cases listening to and responding to voice calls/emails.

The new multi-function devices will be capable of doing a multitude of functionalities, while working individually or in conjunction with an external platform such as the smartphone. The functionalities integrated could range from payments and ticketing to sports and fitness.

While these devices will create a new market segment, Juniper still expects that smart watches will appeal only to a niche demographic, compared to the broad appeal of tablet devices.

Juniper Research believes that Samsung and Apple will be instrumental in establishing the smart watch market, and will act as a catalyst for other competitors to enter the space.

Nitin Bhas, author of Juniper's Next Generation Smart Watches: Market Prospects 2013 - 2018 market report said: "By educating and publicising this device segment to the consumer, Apple and Samsung will indeed act as a catalyst to the market. In addition, being a key influencer, these player's entry into the smart watch segment will benefit existing smart watch players - providing an increase in awareness and adoption of other wearable devices."

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