Canalys: More than five million smart watches will ship in 2014

Apparently there is a market for "smart watches," based on analyst forecasts.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Do you have a smart watch yet? Based on a new report from Canalys, maybe you'll be a lucky owner in 2014.

The market intelligence firm published a new report on Tuesday, predicting that more than five million smart watches will ship in 2014.

As the pint-sized market stands now, the most notable and buzzed-about contender has been the Pebble -- although researchers highlighted more 330,000 smart watches shipped in 2012, led by Sony and Motorola.

Canalys predicted that that at least 500,000 units will ship by the end of 2013. That's a roughly 900 percent increase.

Suffice to say, industry analysts think this market is poised to explode within the next year.

Canalys vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones went so far as to declare in the report that smart watches will be "the most important new product category in consumer electronics since the iPad defined the market for tablets."

The report rests upon numerous reports that will soon see competitors from the likes of Apple, Samsung, and Google, among others.

However, Canalys analyst James Wang warned that smart watches aren't just a "second screen" for a smartphone, stipulating they'll need a mobile software platform entirely new to the form factor.

"Google and Microsoft must execute more successfully than they have done with their tablet platforms and will have to adapt their business models appropriately," Wang added.

Nevertheless, Jones posited that smart watches will present "a tremendous opportunity" for mobile developers, inspiring them to be able "write apps in categories such as health and wellness or sports and fitness."

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