It doesn’t matter that Apple wasn’t even close to being the first company to release a smartwatch, because when it finally got around to releasing one, it ended up completely dominating the market within a few months, and that dominance is expected to continue for years to come. Market research firm IDC released its projections for the wearables market this morning, and even though Apple is expected to lose some market share over the next few years, it will still control more than half of the smartwatch market by 2019.
Apple’s dominance of the growing wearables market will continue for the foreseeable future, market research firm IDC projected on Thursday, forecasting that the Apple Watch will control the lion’s share of the smartwatch market through the year 2019. Sales of the Apple Watch are forecast to increase from an estimated 13 million units in 2015 to 45.2 million units in 2019, IDC said. That would actually translate into a loss in smartwatch marketshare as the market grows, but only from 61.3 to 51.1 percent. Industry-wide, smartwatch shipments are predicted to grow from 21.3 million to 88.3 million. Apple’s next closest competitor, Android Wear, is anticipated to grow shipments from 3.2 million to 34.3 million, ultimately putting it at a 38.8 percent share. The platform will allegedly eat into Apple’s total market share, though together Google and Apple may feed off of smaller platforms like Pebble and Samsung’s Tizen. Smartwatches will likely grow in appeal as they add technologies like cellular connections, health sensors, and more third-party apps, IDC commented. At the moment most watches, including the Apple Watch, are tethered to specific phone platforms and hence serve as expensive accessories rather than as standalone options.