Why eMarketer’s report on smart watches is wrong

According to eMarketer “despite a year full of exciting new smartwatches, tech-enabled clothing or jewelry, and fitness activity trackers galore, the growth of the wearables market is still on the decline and the coming year looks even more dismal for wearables”. eMarketer predicts usage will grow only 11.9% in 2018 — and that growth rate will end up slowing down to single digits in 2019 and beyond.  This is wrong and a bad forecast.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t use a smart watch, but that’s because I use apps on my iPhone to measure my activity.  However, smartwatches are ready to take a huge leap helped along by medical applications.  Consider the following:

1ne: Apple is already working on a heart monitor for its smart watch and numerous other manufacturers are working on apps that actually measure glucose and remind diabetics it check or take medications.

2wo:  Siri in the Apple Watch can read out instructions to follow in case one has a heart attack. It also takes notes from doctors who cannot sit down to write it in the middle of their activities.

3hree: Adults say they’re interested in features that extend well beyond measuring health metrics – especially features that would give them additional control of everyday tasks and help them move through life more efficiently.

4our: The wearable intelligence device industry is growing at a rapid pace. Credit Suisse expects the industry to grow up to $5 billion by 2019. Most of the devices will need iWatch apps downloads to function. But then, you will see more than 50,000 apps waiting for your call.

Long-term growth will be driven largely by increased consumer awareness of smartwatches’ capabilities, added functionality (especially stand-alone connectivity), cheaper price tags associated with low-end manufacturers joining the market, and the ongoing expansion into emerging markets.

The smartwatch market actually showed over 60 percent year over year growth during this year’s second quarter.

I also believe that smartwatch prices will continue to decline as the economies of scale kick in and as the medical community finally acknowledges that smartwatches actually help patients monitor their health.

The eMarketer data is the result of someone sitting at a computer with an Excel spreadsheet and applying different statistical formulas. They fail to take into account the disruption that’s coming to the market.

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