Image source: Nokia

Hybrid watches to overtake smartwatches by 2022 says new research

Stylish hybrid watches will make up more than a half of smartwatch shipments by 2022 according to a new report by Juniper Research.

Not everyone wants a fully gledged smartwatch sitting on their wrist. Some prefer the look of a traditional timepiece. Hybrid watches aim to cater to this demographic by offering the best of both worlds. A classic timepiece with an analogue dial, with high tech smarts hidden inside the casing.

There is no shortage of hybrid watches to choose from today. Marrying functionality with style, most track steps, distance and calories, some vibrate to alert you of important calls and a few even combine a small digital screen on the face of the display. Then there are those, such as the Nokia Steel HR and Garmin Vivomove HR, which keep tabs on your heart rate. Misfit Path is the latest arrival to this space. Announced at CES 2018 it is the company’s third and smallest hybrid yet.

But it seems its only going to get better from here for hybrid fans. Juniper’s report, Smartwatches: Trends, Vendor Strategies & Forecasts 2018-2022, forecasts that some 80 million hybrids will be shipped by 2022, a staggering 460% increase from the 14 million in 2017. Digital display smartwatches, on the other hand, are “only” predicted by grow by 160% during this period.

Essential reading: Top hybrid watches, the best of both worlds

The report says that slower growth of smartwatches with touchscreen displays has prompted several manufacturers to pull back from this market over the past year or so. Examples that spring to mind include Motorola, Huawei and Sony. The big name players such as Apple, Samsung and Casio remain.

In terms of features, smartwatch connectivity should play a growing role, with GPS expected to be present in nearly a half of all such devices by 2022. NFC growth will lag behind.

“The smartwatch market is refining itself into a series of specific use-cases”, remarked research author James Moar.

“This is having an impact on every aspect of smartwatches, from their design for increasingly specialised uses to their sale in specific retailers. While most vendors cannot necessarily hope to reach a broad coverage, the industry as a whole is here to stay.”

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