Smartwatches set for prime time: GfK
By Digital News Asia April 14, 2014
- With launch of Android for smartwatches, GfK expects more to jump on bandwagon
- Nearly 1,400 smartwatches sold in Singapore in the first two months of 2014
ACCORDING to the January and February 2014 reports from global market research firm GfK, which started tracking retail sales of smartwatches this year, the smartwatch market was already worth around US$345,000 in the first two months of 2014.
Singapore looks to be a key market, with nearly 1,400 smartwatches sold in the island-republic in the first two months of 2014, the firm said in a statement.
"Singapore, with its status as a modern and developed country, has been chosen as one of the first markets in the region for manufacturers to launch their inital models of smart watches,” said Gerard Tan, account director for Digital World at GfK Asia.
“[When] the first smartwatch was launched in mid-2013, adoption level remained rather low due to the limitation of choices and features, but as with all other smart devices, we are expecting further advancements in both technology and adoption that will fast-track sales at some point soon as the product continues to develop.
“Basic smartwatch functions are similar to smartphones and tablets, including time and tracking activities, GPS (Global Pisitioning Sysytem), weather forecast, calling, etc.
“However, due to the novelty of this technology, reports are showing that the more renowned international brands with greater presence and distribution channels are more popular with consumers,” he added.
GfK reported a total of six brands and models currently available to consumers in the market, in the price range of the low US$100 to over US$300. The more popular choices appear to be the more high-end models which accounted for around 90% of the total sales volume in January.
“The smartwatch is currently at its infancy stage and as with all first generation models, there are lots upgrading work to be done and we anticipate this new tech toy to follow a similar uptrend as other popular smart, connected devices such as smartphones, tablets and more recently, phablets, in the months to come,” said Tan.
“With the official launch of the Android platform for smartwatches recently, we expect a lot more brands jumping onto the bandwagon – not to mention introducing more designs, improved features, interactive and sophisticated applications.
“It will not be long before the market experiences a surge in take-up rate,” he said.
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