Hybrid watches are expected to growth their share of the smartwatch market from 30% to 40% by 2021, a new study from Juniper Research suggests. Existing manufacturers are expected to broaden and simplify their product offering, while more traditional watchmakers may enter this space as they try to cling on to their share of the global market.
Essential reading: Top hybrid smartwatches, the best of both worlds
Analogue or hybrid watches are classic looking timepieces that combine the look and functionality of a traditional watch with abilities that are evident in today’s smartwatches. Discreetly housed in the casing of these devices is technology that keeps tabs on your daily activity and sleep metrics. Some even display smartphone notifications.
The report, Smartwatches: Trends, Vendor Strategies & Forecasts 2017-2021, predicts that fewer than 60 million smartwatches will be shipped annually leading up to 2021. This actually suggests a slowdown in interest, which is in line with what we’ve seen in 2016.
“Now that the initial smartwatch buzz is over, a longer product lifecycle and sluggish adoption are responsible for the slowing market, as users do not regularly upgrade,” said research author James Moar.
The recent acquisitions of Pebble and Vector by Fitbit point to a consolidation of this market. Furthermore, now that initial interest has waned, Motorola and Huawei have announced they are scaling back their smartwatch activity.
As the high-end multifunctional smartwatch market slows, Fossil, Apple, Samsung and the likes are expected to come out with simpler devices. This will be done by removing unpopular smartwatch features and focusing instead on specific functionality such as fitness and health tracking.
The days of ugly fitness trackers and bulky smartwatches aimed at tech buffs are clearly behind us. If you like the functions of a smartwatch but prefer the classic look of an analog timepiece, a hybrid smartwatch might be just right for you.
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