Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and other consumer electronics giants may drive a sharp increase in smartwartch shipments later in 2013 or sometime next year, as the burgeoning industry is expected to see shipments increase tenfold compared to this year’s forecasts.
According to market research firm Canalys, approximately five million smartwatches may be shipped in 2014, which represents a fifteen-fold increase over 2012’s figures of 330,000 units shipped and ten times the 500,000 units that could be shipped this year. This increase could be driven by the introduction of Apple’s “iWatch”, a wearable “gadget” that many believe is due for release late next year.
Aside from Apple, Google, Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), Microsoft, Corp.(NASDAQ: MSFT) and Samsung Electronics Corp.(005930: KS) are expected to be among the consumer electronics movers and shakers entering the smartwatch space this year or next year. Sony, Corp. (NYSE: SNE), on the other hand, had recently launched the third iteration of its smartwatch product at the Mobile Asia Expo.
On the technological front, the present generation of smartwatches, such as Sony’s product and the similar device released by start-up company Pebble, are only capable of pairing with smartphones and performing rudimentary tasks that include, but are not limited to playing music or displaying SMS messages.
The upcoming batch of smartwatches, however, may come with a wealth of features, such as sundry sensors that perform different functions, added connectivity options such as 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) and health-related features that make use of biometrics.