New research from Canalys anticipates more than 5 million smart watches being shipped worldwide next year, which is a 900% increase on this year’s figures.
The company reckons over 330,000 smart watches were shipped last year, with Sony and Motorola leading the market. This year has seen the crowd-funded Pebble project joining Sony as market leader. Over half a million smart watches are expected to ship in 2013.
Chris Jones, vice president and Principal Analyst at Canalys, said “Smart watches will be the most important new product category in consumer electronics since the iPad defined the market for tablets. Software platforms tied to smart watches will also be a tremendous opportunity for developers to write apps in categories such as health and wellness or sports and fitness.”
Canalys estimates that over a billion conventional watches were shipped in 2012, noting that this market will be disrupted when consumers are offered fashionable products that are also seen to add valuable functionality to their lives.
The Canalys report defines smart watches as multi-purpose smart wearable bands that can run third-party computing applications. It’s a product category the research company has dubbed ‘appcessories’.