Analyst: Apple smartwatch will be dominant

12 Feb

Apple’s highly anticipated smartwatch will dominate the global market this year even as competition rises from devices powered by Google’s Android Wear operating system, according to Taiwanese tech analyst Alex Hou.

Hou, a project manager at the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center, believes that global smartwatch shipments will reach 13.07 million units this year, up from 4.11 million in 2014, the Want China Times reported.

Shipments of the Apple Watch will begin in April and are expected to total 8.5 million units, making up 65% of global smartwatch shipments, Hou said at a press briefing on February 11.

The Apple Watch, unveiled last September, has an edge because of its innovative features, sleek design and compatibility with the iPhone 6, Hou said. It is the first major new Apple product since the iPad and the first to be launched under the leadership of CEO Tim Cook.

Other smartphone vendors makers, including Sony and Samsung Electronics, have been in the wearables market for several years with products running their own operating systems, while Taiwan’s Asustek Computer released its Android-powered ZenWatch in 2014.

Still, none of Apple’s competitors is likely to gain a market share of more than 5% this year, because their products lack the benefits Apple’s ecosystem, which includes the Apple Pay mobile payment service, Hou said.

Apple Pay lets iPhone 6 and Apple Watch users make payments in the United States initially using the near field communication (NFC) antenna design.

Apple says the Apple Watch will allow wearers to communicate in new ways from their wrists. Those include sending and receiving messages, answering calls to their iPhone, and “sending something as personal as their own heartbeat” with the “Digital Touch” feature.

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