Android's dominance of the smart watch market will come to an end in 2015 when the operating system's (OS') share of the sector will fall to under 50 per cent for the first time as it succumbs to pressure from Apple.
ABI Research forecasts the share of Google Android powered smart watches will fall even as device shipments using the OS rise. The research company predicted that the number of Android smart watches shipped will grow from around 6 million units in 2014 to 15 million in 2015, but noted that shipments of Apple's Watch will begin to take share from Android rivals when it launches in 2015.
Apple's iOS is tipped to take a 35 per cent stake in the smart watch market in 2015, and go on to establish at least a 50 per cent share in the years after, according to ABI Research. In contrast, Android's share is tipped to fall from 67 per cent in 2014 to 42 per cent in 2015. The research company noted that Android accounted for 75 per cent of smart watch shipments in 2013.
"Android has enjoyed unprecedented success within this market with products such as the Samsung Gear series and Sony smart watches; however, the Apple Watch will pose a significant threat," said Thomas McCourtie, research analyst at ABI Research.
The research company said Apple shipped 5 million iPads in the first six months after launching the device in 2010, and speculated that the U.S. company could, therefore, replicate that success in the smart watch sector.
"Judging by the previous sales performance of newly released Apple products, ABI Research anticipates a high number of sales of the Apple Watch upon its initial release," McCourtie noted, adding: "The high number of loyal and affluent multiple Apple device owners alone will drive significant numbers of sales."
Rival research company Juniper Research last month predicted smart watches will play a leading role in generating revenues for the broader smart wearables market over the next five years. The company predicted that total smart wearable revenues will grow from $4.5 billion (€3.5 billion) in 2014 to $53.2 billion by 2019.
- read this ABI Research release
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