The smartwatch market is showing no signs of slowing down. On the contrary, it’s actually on the up. Smartwatch sales were up more than 60% in the US last year, according to figures from The NPD Group, who also said smartwatch sales totaled $5 billion — triple the amount in 2015 and a 50% increase in 2016.
This is a good sign the smartwatch market has plenty of growth in it yet. And with the smartphone market stagnating and even sales of the iPhone not doing too well, it’s expected more manufacturers will get in on the game.
Newcomers will have a job on their hands to snatch a portion of the market though, with Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit controlling 88% of it. The remaining 12% is made up of brands like LG who have never released a truly competitive device. Huawei is doing okay though with the Watch 2 Sport, which is one of the best Wear OS options.
The NPD Group predicts further growth in the future. It is expected by the end of 2019 smartwatch sales will total more than $5.5 billion. Apple is expected to receive the bulk of that money with sales of the Apple Watch Series 4.
So, what’s driving interest in the smartwatch market? The answer is health. Smartwatch manufacturers are making their devices better at tracking health, with Apple for example adding fall detection earlier this year. Soon, the Apple Watch may even have the ability to detect strokes through Atrial fibrillation. Smartwatches for heart rate tracking are also getting more accurate and consistent, reducing the need for a chest strap. Basic features like step tracking and GPS are also driving sales.
Smartwatches in 2019 will offer the best range of health tracking features yet. How much will the market grow, though? We’ll have to wait and see.