As sales of smart watches creep closer to just under half a million units sold in the U.S. since their introduction in October 2013, the market is waiting with baited breath for Apple to get into the wearable tech game.
While Business Insider recently forecasted that the smartwatch market would grow to 9.2B by 2018, Samsung and Pebble dominate the market, according to the market research group NPD. Sales of the Samsung Gear watch accounts for 78 percent of total revenue in the market while the Pebble holds an 18 percent revenue share. One third of all smartwatch units sold to date were sold during the 2013 holiday season.
Rumor has it that Apple will launch its highly anticipated iWatch in September, just in time for the holiday season. At WWDC, Apple hinted heavily at targeting some of the most popular features in wearables today; fitness and sleep. And consumers, especially Millenials, seem particularly poised to strap on this trend.
According to NPD’s Wearable Technology Study, 20 percent of consumers say they are interested in purchasing a smartwatch, with younger consumers expressing the most interest. Among 16-24 year olds, a whopping 30 percent said they were interested in buying a smartwatch, while a one quarterof 25-34 year olds reported interest.
One thing that resonates across all age groups is price. Among those likely to buy a smartwatch, cost was cited as the number one barrier to purchase. Since October, promotions and the introduction of new smartwatches have caused average prices to fluctuate, going as high as $257 and dropping as low as $160. Primarily driven by Samsung’s bundling the Gear with purchases of their Note and Galaxy smartphones, the average price of a smartwatch is now right around $189 according to NPD.
This means that the Apple iWatch needs to offer roughly 8x more functionality based upon it’s rumored pricing of over $1,000.
We’ll have to wait until September to see whether or not people are willing to shell out more than $1k for another wearable.