Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Android to face wearables challenge from Apple in 2015: ABI

Iain Morris
October 16, 2014
Android looks set to face a strong challenge from Apple in the nascent wearables market following the latter’s imminent launch of a smart watch, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Apple’s smart watch device is set to become available in 2015 and the market-research company reckons that Android’s total market share of smart watches will drop below 50% for the first time since “the smart watch renaissance of September 2013” as a result of this development.

Indeed, ABI expects Apple’s iOS operating system to capture a market share of as much as 50% in this area.

According to its research, the number of Android-based wearable devices shipped by the end of 2014 will hit around six million, but that figure is set to rise to 15 million in 2015.

“Android has enjoyed unprecedented success within this market with products such as the Samsung [Seoul, South Korea] Gear series and Sony [Tokyo, Japan] smart watches; however, the Apple Watch will pose a significant threat,” said Thomas McCourtie, a research analyst with ABI Research.

“Judging by the previous sales performance of newly released Apple [Cupertino, CA, USA] products, ABI Research anticipates a high number of sales of the Apple Watch upon its initial release,” he added. “The iPad sold almost five million units during the first two quarters of release [the second and third quarters of 2010], and the Apple Watch will be no exception.”

McCourtie expects the high number of loyal Apple customers owning more than one of the company’s devices to be enough to drive “significant numbers of sales” in the smart watch area.

In 2013, according to ABI, Android had a 75% share of the market for all wearable devices, but that will fall to 67% by the end of 2014 and to just 42% in 2015 after the launch of Apple’s watch.
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