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Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
Apple is set to be the biggest player in the smartwatch market, Canalys analysts have predicted.
But its reign may be temporary, as competitors will inevitably storm Cupertino's barricades armed with cheaper wristputers to steal away the unfaithful.
Canalys predicted that "wearable band" shipments will grow 129 per cent between now and 2015, reaching a total of 43.2 million a year.
Of course, Apple is likely to still be sitting pretty on its iPerch by then, dominating this new market.
"By creating a new user interface tailored to its tiny display, Apple has produced a smartwatch that mass-market consumers will actually want to wear," said Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte. "The sleek software, variety of designs and reasonable entry price make for a compelling new product. Apple must still prove, however, that the final product will deliver adequate battery life for consumers."
However, Canalys warned the acolytes of Apple that their favourite smartband brand might see its market share drop whenever the rest of the industry gets itself together.
It warned that "low-cost Chinese vendors" are already trying to tempt cash-strapped folk with lesser smartwatches. Xiaomi, for instance, has released a band called Mi which costs under 20 quid. However, this is what Canalys deem a "basic band", which does not run third party apps, as opposed to an Apple style "smartband", which is likely to run all manner of apps.
Google's Android Wear may also power competitors to the iWatch, although this platform needs to be "greatly improved" if it is to match Apple's offering.
"The basic band vendors, such as Fitbit and Jawbone, will enjoy the advantages of their lower pricing for the immediate future," said Canalys VP Chris Jones. "Eventually, however, stronger smartband competitors to the Apple Watch will likely emerge and push smartband pricing down, threatening the basic bands. This market will undergo disruption similar to that suffered by feature phones when smart phone prices fell."
Apple has clearly got a big task on its hands with the Watch, but this is not the only product it has to produce in the coming months. According to a report in the Taiwanese press, Apple is planning to ship 80 million iPhone 6 units before the end of 2014, which is way higher than the 60 million iPhone 5 units it shipped in 2013. ®