As the high-end multifunctional smartwatch market slows, vendors will refine or remove unpopular functionalities, focusing on specific use cases like fitness and health, according to the latest report by Juniper Research.
The smartwatch market is now primarily the preserve of Apple, Samsung and Fitbit, together with traditional watchmakers like Fossil and TAG Heuer. On the other hand, Motorola and Huawei have both withdrawn for the present, while Pebble and Vector have been acquired.
With no must-have use case emerging for multifunctional smartwatches, Juniper has scaled back its estimates for market growth, and now anticipates that less than 60 million smartwatches will be shipped annually by 2021.
"Now that the initial smartwatch buzz is over, a longer product lifecycle and sluggish adoption are responsible for the slowing market, as users do not regularly upgrade," says the research author James Moar.
Juniper has also found that NFC is unlikely to generate new use cases for the category, and that customizable watch faces rather than some advanced software dominate smartwatch app downloads.
The whitepaper titled "Can Smartwatches Make Up for Lost Time?" is available to download from the Juniper website together with further details of the full research.