Apple’s iWatch seen as a sales catalyst for wearables market

Apple iWatch Wearables MarketImage Source: Martin Hajek

Even though many companies unveiled brand new wearable devices at CES 2014 last week, Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White doesn’t expect them to make an impression with consumers — at least not until Apple’s rumored iWatch finally launches. “In our view, the unveiling of useful wearable technology products that focused on the wrist (i.e., fitness bands, smartwatches) at this year’s [CES] show brought legitimacy to the wearable space,” White on Monday wrote in a note to investors on Monday morning. “That said, we believe it will take Apple’s launch of the anticipated ‘iWatch’ to drive a more meaningful adoption rate.”

Apple has been rumored for a while now to enter the wearables business with a smartwatch of its own, with some recent reports suggesting that the company has to overcome various production issues related to the product. However, the company is yet to officially confirm such a product.

Meanwhile, various device makers have unveiled interesting wearable devices at CES, with some of them set to hit stores later this year. The list of such products shown in Las Vegas includes, but is not limited to, Razer’s Nabu, LG’s Lifeband Touch, Sony’s Core SmartBand, Pebble’s Steel smartwatch or Intel’s various smart products to name just a few. Samsung is expected to launch more wearable devices of its own, including a Galaxy Gear 2 smartwatch that could be unveiled alongside the Galaxy S5 smartphone in the following months.

White isn’t the only person that doesn’t believe wearables will take off immediately. Talking about smartwatches, Swatch Chief Executive Nick Hayek told Reuters that the company doesn’t want to build its own smartwatches, deeming current models as “technology bombs people won’t want to buy,” and instead stick to regular watch offers.

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