​Apple Watch to lift Australian wearable market to AU$400m

The arrival of the Apple Watch will see the smartwatch market grow by at least 50 percent this year, according to research from Telsyte.

The arrival of the Apple Watch is expected to see Australia's wearable computing market exceed AU$400 million by 2018, according to research from Telsyte.

The Australian Smartphone & Wearable Devices Market Study 2015 said the arrival of the Apple Watch will see the smartwatch market grow by at least 50 percent this year.

In 2014, around 370,000 smartwatches and over 800,000 smart wristbands such as the Fitbit were sold in Australia, Telsyte said.

Telsyte managing director Foad Fadaghi said smartwatches will become more appealing to consumers as new stylish and featured devices enter the market, with the 25- to 44-year-old age group representing the best sales opportunity in 2015.

"There is a lot of anticipation for the Apple smartwatch, and our research indicates half of all smart fitness band users are looking to upgrade to a smartwatch, creating a potentially vibrant new product category," he said.

Along with the expected rise of the wearable market, Telsyte's research also found that there were 16.8 million smartphone users in Australia as of the end of December 2014, with sales just below 5 million units in the second half of 2014.

According to Telsyte, smartphone sales were 10 percent less than what it had initially predicted, despite strong iPhone 6 sales.

In a separate study by PayPal and Ipsos, it has been revealed that mobile commerce is poised to eclipse traditional online spending. According to the latest data, the amount spent via mobile devices is projected to grow 43 percent, to AU$8.8 billion in 2015, while total online spending, which includes mobile, is forecast to lift only 10 percent this year, to AU$50 billion.

The research also said that the predicted growth of mobile spending in Australia between 2013 and 2016 is 204 percent.