There are still numerous questions surrounding the freshly unveiled Apple Watch, and already one market research firm (if not many more out there) has the iPhone maker pegged to lead the charge next year.
According to a new forecast from Canalys on Wednesday, the smart watch (or smart band) market is expected to really take hold in 2015.
Current estimates call for the "wearable band market" to grow by more than 129 percent year-over-year to 43.2 million total units shipped worldwide over the 12-month period, breaking down to 28.2 million smart bands and 15 million basic bands (i.e., Fitbit and Jawbone).
Predictably or not given the hype around new Apple products, the Cupertino, Calif.-headquarted company is expected to be the biggest driver behind wearable band shipments next year.
Canalys analyst Daniel Matte defended this assessment in the report, arguing that Apple is offering a wider breadth of options and services ranging from the current standard around health and fitness to mobile payments and communications.
By creating a new user interface tailored to its tiny display, Apple has produced a smart watch that mass-market consumers will actually want to wear. The sleek software, variety of designs and reasonable entry price make for a compelling new product. Apple must still prove, however, that the final product will deliver adequate battery life for consumers.
Canalys didn't reveal projections as to just how many Apple Watches they expect to see shipped next year.
At the same time, analysts also touted efforts by Xiaomi and Google, the latter of which is pushing its wearables agenda with the Android Wear platform unveiled in June.
However, while analysts posited that Android Wear is growing into "a viable ecosystem," they lamented the platform is not accessible in one of the largest burgeoning consumer tech and mobile markets today: China.
Thus, Canalys concluded simply, "Google must greatly improve its wearable platform over the coming years to better compete with Apple’s new offering."
Chart via Canalys