With 3 million smartwatches sold in 2013 compared to 0.3 million in 2012, the global smartwatch industry has multiplied tenfold in the last year. The ten leading smartwatch companies reached a market share of 82%. An exploding number of hardware vendors and the definition of app standards will result in a continued high growth in 2014. Software will outpace hardware as the key value driver.
Top 10 smartwatch companies highlight industry dynamics
The activity tracking, sports performance measurement, smartwatch and conventional watch markets are rapidly growing together. Members of all four markets are represented in the Top 10 smartwatch companies:
Name of smartwatch
Units shipped ('000)
Market volume (USD mill)
Market share (%)
|Samsung||South Korea||Galaxy Gear||800||240||33.8|
|Nike||US||Fuelband (incl. SE)||400||60||8.4|
|Garmin||Switzerland||Forerunner 220/620, D2, S4||200||60||8.4|
|Mio Alpha||Canada||Heart Rate Sport Watch||100||20||2.8|
|Yingqu Technology||China||InWatch One||50||13||1.8|
Exploding number of smartwatch vendors in 2014
Based on profound insights into global R&D activities, Smartwatch Group expects the number of companies with smartwatch offerings to grow from 40 to 200 until the end of 2014. The market volume of the smartwatch industry will increase from USD 0.7 to 2.5 billion in 2014, while the average price per smartwatch will decrease from 225.- to 205.-. Key reasons for growth in 2014 are advances in product design and significantly improved use cases.
Software outpaces hardware as value driver
Revenues of the smartwatch industry will remain to be predominantly hardware-based. However, the real driver of the smartwatch industry in 2014 is software. First app standards have evolved, and Google and Apple will significantly contribute to this trend with their own product offerings. Apps will enable use cases that significantly outmatch today’s activity monitoring and notifications.
App developers and hardware providers form a virtuous circle: the more relevant smartwatch apps there are, the higher hardware sales, the better and more affordable hardware, which again attracts more app developers. With 30,000 software developers working on smartwatch apps, the critical mass has been reached now.