Currently, smartwatches make up about 30 percent of the wearable technology market, but that number seems to be at a crossroads. Research from Juniper Research has indicated that the market for high end smartwatches such as the Apple Watch (which can perform nearly every function under the sun) is steadily decreasing. However, the demand does seem to be growing higher for “hybrid analogue” watches. These watches look like traditional wrist watches, but have some additional smart functions. Juniper predicts that, backed by the popularity of these types of watches, smartwatches will grow to make up 40 percent of the wearable technology market by next year.
With this shift in the demands of consumers being observed, it seems likely that smartwatch manufacturers will scale back the amount of features they pack into their products, opting for quality instead of quantity. While some of the features of the Apple Watch were highly touted when it debuted, and certainly caught the eye of many consumers, it seems that many are now deeming them superfluous to the point that they actually take away from the look and functionality of the watch.
According to Juniper’s research, it seems that the most popular features of smartwatches are their ability to check calls and text messages, and the chip that allows them to be used as payment methods, as well as fitness tracking capabilities. It is thus likely that future smartwatch manufacturers will focus on these features and spend the rest of their energy making their watches look like traditional, high end analogue watches, so as to give the customer everything that they are looking for.
Finally, an interesting aside about smartwatches is the degree that people wish to customize them. Apps for custom watch faces are far and away the leading download among smartwatch apps, as people want to tailor their watches’ face to their perfect fit. With all of this in mind, smartphone manufactures will likely focus on simplicity and ease of customization when creating their next lines of smartwatches.
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Ribbon Communications tells its story at Perspectives18.