Smart accessory market accelerates

15 April 2014
SINGAPORE: Sales of the smartwatch, the latest smart mobile device that was launched as recently as mid-2013, are expected to take off once the designs improve their features and applications, a new report has predicted.

In its first assessment of the nascent smartwatch market in Singapore, research firm GfK reported that nearly 1,400 were sold in the first two months of 2014 at a value of about US$345,000.

Manufacturers chose the island-nation as one of the first markets in Asia to launch initial models because of its status as a "modern and developed country", GfK said, while reporting that there are currently six brands available to Singaporeans.

It noted that these models cost between US$100 to more than US$300 and that the more high-end versions accounted for about 90% of all sales in January.

While stating that the smartwatch market is still in its infancy, Gerard Tan, account director for digital world at GfK Asia, said he expected improvements in technology will boost adoption rates as happened with smartphones, tablets and phablets.

With the recent launch of the android platform for smartwatches, he expected a lot more brands to "jump on the bandwagon" while improved features and sophisticated applications would mean "it will not be long before the market experiences a surge in take up rate".

The report comes as new research from International Data Corporation (IDC) confirmed the worldwide wearable computing market is growing strongly.

IDC said the wearable computing market will increase to 19.2m units in 2014 – driven primarily by complex accessories such as the Fitbit device, Nike+ FuelBand and Jawbone's UP bracelet – taking shipments to nearly 112m in 2018.

Sales of smart accessories – such as the Pebble smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Sony smartwatch – are also expected to rise, overtaking complex accessory shipments in four years' time.

Smart wearables, such as Google Glass, are also expected to increase shipments over the next few years, but IDC predicted it would take longer than for the other devices.

Data sourced from GfK, IDC; additional content by Warc staff
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