Wearable Device Ecosystem

Wearable Device Ecosystems provides a deep dive into the fast-developing market where there is no dominant paradigm in terms of form factor, ecosystem, enabling technologies or use cases.

April 17, 2014 09:46 mwilkins

In a new report from the Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, we discuss findings from a recent consumer survey indicating that current wearable device pricing is considerably out of sync with consumer expectations. Overcoming such a mismatch will require consumer education to the value and benefits of wearable devices and price adjustment.

The data comes from a Strategy Analytics survey on Consumer Attitudes to Wearables, conducted across six major consumer electronics countries including the US and China, in Q1 2014.

This published report, available to clients, discusses the key findings from the survey on consumer attitudes to wearables.


April 16, 2014 09:27 nmawston

According to a new report from our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, wearables are going to come in all shapes and sizes during the next decade. Deciding which wearable device types will be operator-friendly in such a fragmented ecosystem will be challenging. Carriers, like T Mobile and others, will need to "sort the wheat from the chaff".

Smartglasses are one wearable-type that we believe will help mobile operators increase their ARPU in the future. This published report, available to clients, explains why and by how much.

March 26, 2014 09:16 sbicheno

Facebook - the social networking giant - is acquiring Oculus VR - a specialist in consumer virtual reality (VR) technology.  According to Strategy Analytics' WDE service the overlap may not seem obvious at first, but initially the acquisition is expected to focus on VR gaming, with Facebook looking to build on its position as a leading casual and social gaming platform.

Further down the line, however, Oculus headsets may be used to enhance the Facebook experience by creating virtual environments in which users can carry out their social activities and even further down the line this acquisition may be viewed as a direct response to Google Glass, with the potential for a Facebook augmented reality platform.

All of this would appear to be good news for the wearable device market, with leading platforms looking to augment their user experience through sensors, displays and other supplementary technology worn about the person. The more companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft continue to invest in this kind of technology, the more demand there is likely to be for wearables.

March 19, 2014 04:33 mwilkins

Yesterday Google unveiled Android Wear, an operating system targeted squarely at the emerging wearable devices market. Initially Android Wear will be available for Smartwatches, but eventually be made available to all types of wearable devices. A developer preview of the OS was released yesterday alongside the announcement.

Google said smartwatches using Android Wear would be available later this year, and that it was working with device vendors (it referenced ASUS, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung), semiconductor suppliers (it referenced Broadcom, Imagination, Intel, MediaTek and Qualcomm), and fashion brand Fossil.

Two smartwatch announcements coincided with the Android Wear announcement, from LG and Motorola. LG announced the G Watch which will ship in Q2 2014. Motorola announced the Moto 360, which will be available as summer 2014, initially in the U.S. No pricing was disclosed for either model.

According to our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, the smartwatch segment of the wearable device market will undergo significant growth in a very short period of time, and we expect growth of over 350% in 2014 alone. We forecast the global wearables market to quadruple by 2018.

LG G Watch:

Moto 360:

February 28, 2014 12:03 nmawston

Analysts from our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) research service attended the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 23rd and Thursday 27th February, 2014. This published report -- available to clients -- summarizes our major findings from the dozens of meetings and product demonstrations we attended over five days at MWC 2014. Companies covered include, Samsung, Sony, Huawei and others.

February 25, 2014 05:07 nmawston

Samsung chose the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show in Barcelona, Spain, this week to introduce its second-generation Gear smartwatches. It launched two models, the Gear 2 (with camera) and the Gear 2 Neo (without camera). Both have a pedometer, heart-rate sensor, and various tools to measure exercise, sleep and stress levels. Fitness is clearly what Samsung believes to be a killer app for its wearables.

Interestingly, both new Gear models use the Tizen OS, and NOT the leading Android platform. That has long been rumored, but it is still a big gamble by Samsung. Whether Tizen can ever attract the same depth and quality of apps compared to Apple's App Store and Google Play remains to be seen.

More analysis of Samsung's smartwatch and wearables strategy can be viewed by clients of our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service here.

February 19, 2014 04:59 nmawston

This year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) -- arguably the planet's most important trade show for the phone / tablet / wearables industry -- will take place next week in Barcelona, Spain, between Sunday 23rd and Thurs 27th February, 2014.

Analysts from our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service will be at the event. These are three key products and brands you MUST go see:

1. Much of the focus will inevitably be on Android smartwatches. We expect Samsung to have a huge presence at the show with a rumored Galaxy Gear 2 introduction(s). But will the Gear 2 portfolio use the rival Tizen platform, instead of the Android OS that is currently found in Gear 1? This will be a major worry for Google if it plays out.

2. Sony sees big potential in wearables. Its SmartBand, Core and other wearables will be on display at MWC. We expect to see live demos of wearables interacting with Xperia smartphones. The Sony booth will be a great chance to get "hands on" with new products.

3. Fitbit will be demonstrating its Flex fitness band and other products at the event. It may be a good opportunity for Fitbit to explain and clear up uncertainty surrounding the minor health issues that its new Force wristband is alleged to be creating.

Please check back here every day next week for our daily blogs from MWC.

February 13, 2014 07:45 nmawston

According to the latest research from our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, global smartwatch shipments reached a record 2 million units in 2013. Android captured 61 percent share of all smartwatches shipped worldwide and it is commanding an early lead over rivals.

Global smartwatch shipments reached a record 1.9 million units in 2013. It is very early days, of course, but the smartwatch market is starting to take shape. We estimate less than 1 percent of all smartphones shipped worldwide were bundled with smartwatches in 2013, so there remains huge scope for smartwatch growth in the future.

Android shipped a record 1.2 million smartwatches worldwide for 61 percent marketshare in 2013. Android shipped more smartwatches than the rest of the entire market combined. Android’s growth has been driven mostly by Samsung’s Galaxy Gear model, which is being promoted heavily in major countries such as the US, UK and South Korea.

Android currently has several challengers in the smartwatch space, like Firefox and Pebble OS, but none of them are a major threat at this stage because of their relatively limited ecosystems and modest retail presence. Android’s main risk to its smartwatch dominance in the future will come from Apple iOS, Microsoft, and perhaps Tizen or COS. These four brands have the potential scale or marketing power to offer a credible alternative to Google’s popular platform.

Exhibit 1: Global Smartwatch OS Shipments and Market Share in 2013 [1]

Global Smartwatch Operating System Shipments (Millions of Units)












Global Smartwatch Operating System Marketshare  %














Source: Strategy Analytics



[1]  Numbers are rounded. The period 2013 refers to the full calendar year of January to December.

January 8, 2014 00:07 mwilkins

Analysts from our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) research service are at the CES trade show this week in Las Vegas, US, from Sunday 5th to Thursday 9th January, 2014.

Our blog from Day 1 (Monday) can be viewed here.

As CES 2014 gets into its stride, the wearables space has been busy with product announcements across each of the four key wearables areas as defined by Strategy Analytics, the following reflect just a few which caught our eyes.

The Smartwatch space saw MetaWatch launch a new brand, Meta, which will see a new product launch in the spring 2014 timeframe for $229. Pebble announced the Pebble Steel smartwatch, which priced at $249 sits with a $100 premium over the previous Pebble smartwatch. The Steel derives its name from its new, premium, metallic casing and strap.

The Smartglasses category saw Epson announce the Moverio BT200 product, which priced at $699 represents a lowering of the ASP we have seen with other smartglasses such as Google Glass. The Moverio BT200 will become commercially available in March 2014.

At its press conference Sony also launched a product in the Fitness Band segment, Core, a fitness/activity tracker with camera and journal features that seeks to expand on the feature set of the fitness band. The product launches in spring 2014. LG announced its Lifeband Touch fitness tracker, although pricing and launch date were not revealed.

LG also announced its Heart Rate Monitor earphones, a set of earphones capable of monitoring the wearers heart rate, therefore providing an interesting set of features spanning audio and smart accessory categories.

January 6, 2014 17:03 nmawston

According to our Wearable Device Ecosystems (WDE) service, China smartwatch sales will surge several thousand percent in 5 years from 2013 to 2018. We expect technology heavyweights -- such as Samsung, Apple, Sony, Microsoft, Qualcomm, ZTE, Huawei, Lenovo and Google -- to expand the market significantly in coming years.

This published report, available to clients, forecasts global smartwatch sales, for 88 countries worldwide, from 2012 to 2017. Almost every major country worldwide is covered, including United States, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. This report can be used by hardware vendors, semiconductor and component suppliers, operators, software developers, content developers and other stakeholders to determine the size and growth rate of the global smartwatch market.