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Fashion, functionality drive smart wearables market

Apple had 26% market share and Samsung had 25% share in the first quarter in UAE

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According to the research firm, the share of smart wearables as part of the overall MEA wearables market increased from 26 per cent in 2016 to 35 per cent in 2017.
Gulf News

Dubai

Fashion and functionality are the two main aspects driving the smart wearables segment. Consumers are increasingly looking out for sleek designs, trendy interfaces, and different types and colours of straps, an industry expert told Gulf News.

Isaac T NgatiaIsaac T Ngatia, senior research analyst at International Data Corporation, said that the wearables market in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow by 22.7 per cent this year to 3.2 million units. The regional market grew by 12 per cent in 2017.

Out of the 3.1 million units, smart wearables are expected to be 1.39 million units.

The growth in smart wearables (devices capable of running third-party applications) is expected to be around 43 per cent this year compared to 48 per cent last year. The basic wearable band is expected to grow only by 4.5 per cent this year.

“The current wave shows a growing trend towards smart wearables. Consumers are shifting away from basic wearables as new features come on board. Connectivity, multimedia streaming, and additional sensors are some of the features driving the growth of smart wearables,” he said.

According to the research firm, the share of smart wearables as part of the overall MEA wearables market increased from 26 per cent in 2016 to 35 per cent in 2017, and is expected to reach 42 per cent by the end of 2018.

In the smartwatch sub-category, Apple and Samsung together accounted for more than half of the market’s volume in first quarter of 2018. Overall, the smart watch market is expected to continue growing steadily, driven by Apple, whose WatchOS is more developed and ingrained in the market than other operating systems. The recently announced WatchOS 5 is expected to further entrench this position.

For 2017, Apple had a global market share of 15.3 per cent, followed by Xiaomi with 13.6 per cent and Fitbit with 13.3 per cent.

In the first quarter global stats, Apple had a global market share of 16.1 per cent, followed by Xiaomi with 14.8 per cent and Fitbit with 8.7 per cent.

Moreover, Ngatia said that growing demand for cellular watches will serve as a catalyst for growth in the overall smart watch category. A cellular watch is a type of smartwatch that provides connectivity even when is not tethered to a mobile phone. As such, it is possible for the user to make calls, send messages, and use data without the need for a mobile phone.

In the UAE, Apple accounted for around 26 per cent of the smart watch market in the first quarter of this year, down 36 per cent year on year, while Samsung garnered 25 per cent share compared to 20.8 per cent in first quarter of 2017.

Apple is going to sell its cellular watch from Friday onwards in the UAE.

LG released the first SIM-enabled smartwatch globally — Watch Urbane- in 2015 while Samsung launched its Gear S2 Classic 3G with eSIM in 2016 and Huawei launched its 4G SIM-enabled smartwatch and eSIM supported watch in 2017.

Huawei launched its SIM-enabled watch in the UAE last year but Samsung is expected to launch its eSIM-enabled watch later this year.

“The wearables market is still evolving, and still has a lot of potential for growth, with numerous brands coming up with niche products to meet a variety of consumer needs. While health and fitness remain the key areas of interest, varied propositions continue to emerge. For instance, the kids’ smart watch is gaining traction worldwide, and while that trend hasn’t yet caught on in this region, it is expected to grow over the coming years,” Ngatia added.

He said the UAE’s overall wearables market is expected to grow five per cent this year to total 544,676 units, which represents a slowdown from the 14 per cent growth seen in 2017. Meanwhile, the UAE’s smart wearables market is expected to grow 35 per cent year on year in 2018 to total 266,773 units.

Fashion and functionality are the two main aspects driving the smart wearables segment. Consumers are increasingly looking out for sleek designs, trendy interfaces, and different types and colours of straps, an industry expert told Gulf News.

Isaac T Ngatia, senior research analyst at International Data Corporation, said that the wearables market in the Middle East and Africa is expected to grow by 22.7 per cent this year to 3.2 million units. The regional market grew by 12 per cent in 2017.

Out of the 3.1 million units, smart wearables are expected to be 1.39 million units.

The growth in smart wearables (devices capable of running third-party applications) is expected to be around 43 per cent this year compared to 48 per cent last year. The basic wearable band is expected to grow only by 4.5 per cent this year.

“The current wave shows a growing trend towards smart wearables. Consumers are shifting away from basic wearables as new features come on board. Connectivity, multimedia streaming, and additional sensors are some of the features driving the growth of smart wearables,” he said.

According to the research firm, the share of smart wearables as part of the overall MEA wearables market increased from 26 per cent in 2016 to 35 per cent in 2017, and is expected to reach 42 per cent by the end of 2018.

In the smartwatch sub-category, Apple and Samsung together accounted for more than half of the market’s volume in first quarter of 2018. Overall, the smart watch market is expected to continue growing steadily, driven by Apple, whose WatchOS is more developed and ingrained in the market than other operating systems. The recently announced WatchOS 5 is expected to further entrench this position.

For 2017, Apple had a global market share of 15.3 per cent, followed by Xiaomi with 13.6 per cent and Fitbit with 13.3 per cent.

In the first quarter global stats, Apple had a global market share of 16.1 per cent, followed by Xiaomi with 14.8 per cent and Fitbit with 8.7 per cent.

Moreover, Ngatia said that growing demand for cellular watches will serve as a catalyst for growth in the overall smart watch category. A cellular watch is a type of smartwatch that provides connectivity even when is not tethered to a mobile phone. As such, it is possible for the user to make calls, send messages, and use data without the need for a mobile phone.

In the UAE, Apple accounted for around 26 per cent of the smart watch market in the first quarter of this year, down 36 per cent year on year, while Samsung garnered 25 per cent share compared to 20.8 per cent in first quarter of 2017.

Apple is selling its cellular watch from Friday onwards in the UAE.

LG released the first SIM-enabled smartwatch — Watch Urbane- in 2015 while Samsung launched its Gear S2 Classic 3G with eSIM in 2016 and Huawei launched its 4G SIM-enabled smartwatch in 2017.

“The wearables market is still evolving, and still has a lot of potential for growth, with numerous brands coming up with niche products to meet a variety of consumer needs. While health and fitness remain the key areas of interest, varied propositions continue to emerge. For instance, the kids’ smart watch is gaining traction worldwide, and while that trend hasn’t yet caught on in this region, it is expected to grow over the coming years,” Ngatia added.

He said the UAE’s overall wearables market is expected to grow five per cent this year to total 544,676 units, which represents a slowdown from the 14 per cent growth seen in 2017. Meanwhile, the UAE’s smart wearables market is expected to grow 35 per cent year on year in 2018 to total 266,773 units.

 

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