Smartphone vendor ZTE is planning to launch its smartwatch early next year, Financial Times reported. With this, ZTE would join Samsung, Sony, etc.
Samsung is yet to reveal the number of smartwatches it sold in the last quarter. Recently, the Korean phone vendor added more smartphones that are compatible with Samsung Galaxy Gear.
In September, Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm unveiled smartwatches, tapping a potential wearables market worth an estimated $50 billion as the high-end mobile phone market becomes saturated.
Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch works as an accessory to its Galaxy smartphones, with a small screen offering basic functions such as photos, hands-free calls and instant messaging. Its main hurdle is that Gear is not compatible with smartphones from rivals.
Qualcomm’s Toq smartwatch can play music and handle phone calls and messages. It will be the first smartwatch with a touch-enabled Mirasol color screen that can be viewed easily in bright sunlight. It is compatible with several smartphones globally.
Tech major Apple and Google are also widely believed to be working on wearables such as wrist-worn devices.
There is a big market opportunity. Smartwatches will become a huge global industry. Worldwide shipments of smart watches in 2018 will be in the region of 214 million units while the retail value of the market at this time will be $62.2 billion. However, a new generation of smart watch products will be required to achieve these figures, said Andrew Sheehy, chief analyst at Generator Research.
NextMarket Insights says the smartwatch market is forecast to reach a total of 15 million smartwatches shipped worldwide, up from 5 million this year. Growth is expected to continue after that, with the market hitting nearly 37 million watches shipped in 2015.
Forbes reported that much of the growth of smartwatches will be driven by Asia. China has seen significant early attention from smartwatch makers, and low-cost Android based smartwatches could prove popular in emerging economies as an alternative to phones. The industry expects new segments of the watch market – such as fitness/active lifestyle and youth – to fuel growth in coming years.
ZTE’s marketing strategies are not available. But the Chinese telecom vendor wants to maintain its momentum in the device space because mobile infrastructure market is posing challenges to several manufacturers.