Don't count smartwatches out just yet: New Android Wear watches may boost sales

huawei watch 2 sport vs classic  23
It’s been a common refrain for almost a year, now: The smartwatch industry died before it hit its stride. Case in point? Market analysts at IDC reported that Apple, one of the most successful smartwatch makers on the market, saw sales of its eponymous Apple Watch fall from 3.9 million in 2015 to just 1.1 million in mid-2016. But if rosier projections turn out to be true, smartwatches and wearables might finally come around over the next few months.

According to a new report from Canalysis, people will buy 18 percent more smartwatches in 2017 than they did the previous year, driving total annual sales to rise to $10 billion. Specifically, the firm expects shipments of as many as 28.5 million smartwatch units this year, and a subsequent decline in sales among traditional watchmakers.

Overall, Canalysis expects that the value of the smartwatch market will hit about two-thirds of the traditional Swiss watch market by the end of 2017. That’s despite the fact that the average price of smartwatches is projected to increase.

The firm predicts most of the growth will be driven by increased sales of Android Wear smartwatches. Several, including Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer’s Connected watch, will launch at the watchmaker conference Baselworld 2017 in late March.

“Watchmakers’ survival will depend on creating competitive smartwatches,” Canalysis analyst Jason Low said in a statement with the report. “Forming partnerships with competitive companies will be the first step. A well-formulated strategy to sell a watch will play a larger role as watchmakers have to appeal not only to watch fans, but consumers who are yet to buy a wearable.”

Not not everyone is convinced the smartwatch market is primed for a turnaround, though.

Projections from eMarketer are much glummer. The firm expects smartwatch usage this year to reach about 40 million U.S. adults, far short of its initial estimate of 64 million. It blames the new projections on the high cost of smartwatches and a lack of well-defined use cases.

“Before Apple launched its Watch, fitness trackers dominated the wearables space, and consumer surveys consistently found that tracking health and fitness was the main reason people were interested in wearables,” Cathy Boyle, an eMarketer analyst, said in a note to investors. “They also reported high price sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smart watches — which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality — the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.”

Time will tell who’s right. But one thing’s for certain: Smartwatch makers haven’t given up hope yet.

Deals

It’s no Apple Watch, but the Vtech Kidizoom is a cheap smartwatch for kids

Looking for a cheap, no-nonsense smartwatch for kids? The Vtech Kidizoom DX2 smartwatch lets your child take photos, videos, play games, and track steps. With a $15 discount, it's very affordable.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for March 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for March 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Wearables

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.
Android

Mobile World Congress 2019

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are dominating the news. For 2019…
Product Review

Casio’s Pro Trek WSD-F30 outdoors smartwatch fits city lifestyles, too

It’s equipped with all the outdoor tools and sensors you want, but the Casio Pro Trek WSD-F30 is as much a lifestyle smartwatch as it is trekking companion.
Wearables

Microsoft Band: Users of the defunct fitness tracker offered a refund

Three years after it stopped making the device, Microsoft has announced it is finally ending support for its Band fitness tracker. The good news is that current users, if there are any still out there, can obtain a partial refund.
Wearables

Fitbit drops the price, splashes on the color for spring 2019 lineup

Fitbit's spring 2019 lineup includes a new Versa Lite Edition, an affordable everyday smartwatch, as well as the stylish and sleek Inspire and Inspire HR fitness trackers. There's also the Ace 2, a swimproof tracker for kids ages 6 and up.
Wearables

Time to get to the gym: The fitness-loving Galaxy Watch Active is now available

Looking for a new fitness buddy? Samsung just launched the Galaxy Watch Active and the Galaxy Fit, two new wearables with a raft of fitness-focused features that'll keep you moving and get you down to the gym.
Home Theater

IPX what? The electronics water- and dust-resistance rating explained

Increasingly, consumer electronics companies are using an IPX code to demonstrate that their products are water and dust resistant. But what does this IPX code mean? We break it all down and walk you through it.
Wearables

Fitbit Versa Lite versus Fitbit Versa: How are they different?

Fitbit took the best of its popular Versa smartwatch and removed some elements to create the new Versa Lite, an even more affordable entry-level smartwatch. How does the Versa Lite differ from the original Versa? Read on to find out.
Wearables

You will never need to charge a smartwatch again, if new EU project succeeds

A new EU research project has launched into finding a new way of powering wearable devices, with the intention of using an energy harvesting system to ensure we never have to charge one up ever again.
Wearables

Garmin Marq series offers stylish performance for those willing to pay for it

Garmin had been around for 30-years and is celebrating its anniversary with a big announcement: The Marq, a new series of premium adventure smartwatches designed for consumers who want stylish performance and are willing to pay for it.