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Samsung, Apple vie for smartwatch market

Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Watch Active 2 / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

By Baek Byung-yeul

Samsung Electronics, Apple and other manufacturers are set to release their latest smartwatches simultaneously on Oct. 25 to meet the growing demand for wearable devices, according to industry officials, Wednesday.

Apple, which has shown its dominance in the segment with its Apple Watch products, will release its newest edition Series 5, while the domestic leader Samsung is expected to begin sales of the LTE-enabled Galaxy Watch Active 2, the same day.

Smartwatches had been for a small number of tech-savvy users, but the wearable device saw an explosive growth since Apple pioneered the market with Apple Watch in 2015. Now smartwatches have been in a cycle of expansion with more healthcare and internet of things (IoT) features being added.

The global sales volume of smartwatches in 2019 is estimated to be 62.63 million, according to data by industry tracker TrendForce, and will reach the 80.55 million mark in 2020. The Apple Watch will account for about 45 percent of the entire market this year with estimated sales of 27.9 million.

The researcher forecast that the market will witness rapid growth as it is expected to reach 113 million sales in 2022, breaking the 100 million mark for the first time.

Apple Watch Series 5 / Courtesy of Apple Korea
Aesthetically, the Apple Watch Series 5 is almost identical to its predecessor but the biggest new feature of the latest model is the always-on display. While users of the existing Apple Watch models have to tap the screen or raise their wrists to wake up the device, the Series 5 always displays the time and other information.

The Series 5 with GPS features will be sold at 539,000 won ($450) while the device that has both cellular and GPS features will be priced at 659,000 won.

While Apple has led the world's smartwatch market, Samsung has been the leading seller domestically.

According to data by Euromonitor, Samsung took a 43.4 percent share in 2018, followed by Apple with 21.9 percent and LG Electronics with 10.3 percent. The sales volume here was estimated at about 752,200 in 2018, a 20 percent increase year-on-year, and is expected to grow to 1.4 million in 2023.

Samsung's new smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2, features enhanced healthcare features such as sleep tracking and exercise tracking, and has improved compatibility with both smartphones running on the Google Android operating system and Apple iOS.

The tech giant already rolled out the Bluetooth version of the smartwatch, priced at between 299,200 won and 440,000 won, depending on the size and material finish. Though Samsung hasn't officially announced the price of the LTE connectivity-supported version, prices are expected to range between 350,000 won and 490,000 won.

Garmin, a U.S. wearable device maker, is also scheduled to launch two smartwatches ― the Venu and Vivoactive ― on the same day.

Industry watchers expect that more smart device makers will release their smartwatches, seeking a breakthrough in the sluggish smartphone market.

"Device manufacturers have now turned their attention to wearable devices in part because of the stagnating growth in the smartphone market. Besides smartwatches, the major hardware brands are also allocating more of their resources to the development of other categories of wearable devices with good demand potential, such as Bluetooth wireless earphones," the TrendForce report said.




Korean Language

 



Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Watch Active 2 / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

By Baek Byung-yeul

Samsung Electronics, Apple and other manufacturers are set to release their latest smartwatches simultaneously on Oct. 25 to meet the growing demand for wearable devices, according to industry officials, Wednesday.

Apple, which has shown its dominance in the segment with its Apple Watch products, will release its newest edition Series 5, while the domestic leader Samsung is expected to begin sales of the LTE-enabled Galaxy Watch Active 2, the same day.

Smartwatches had been for a small number of tech-savvy users, but the wearable device saw an explosive growth since Apple pioneered the market with Apple Watch in 2015. Now smartwatches have been in a cycle of expansion with more healthcare and internet of things (IoT) features being added.

The global sales volume of smartwatches in 2019 is estimated to be 62.63 million, according to data by industry tracker TrendForce, and will reach the 80.55 million mark in 2020. The Apple Watch will account for about 45 percent of the entire market this year with estimated sales of 27.9 million.

The researcher forecast that the market will witness rapid growth as it is expected to reach 113 million sales in 2022, breaking the 100 million mark for the first time.

Apple Watch Series 5 / Courtesy of Apple Korea
Aesthetically, the Apple Watch Series 5 is almost identical to its predecessor but the biggest new feature of the latest model is the always-on display. While users of the existing Apple Watch models have to tap the screen or raise their wrists to wake up the device, the Series 5 always displays the time and other information.

The Series 5 with GPS features will be sold at 539,000 won ($450) while the device that has both cellular and GPS features will be priced at 659,000 won.

While Apple has led the world's smartwatch market, Samsung has been the leading seller domestically.

According to data by Euromonitor, Samsung took a 43.4 percent share in 2018, followed by Apple with 21.9 percent and LG Electronics with 10.3 percent. The sales volume here was estimated at about 752,200 in 2018, a 20 percent increase year-on-year, and is expected to grow to 1.4 million in 2023.

Samsung's new smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch Active 2, features enhanced healthcare features such as sleep tracking and exercise tracking, and has improved compatibility with both smartphones running on the Google Android operating system and Apple iOS.

The tech giant already rolled out the Bluetooth version of the smartwatch, priced at between 299,200 won and 440,000 won, depending on the size and material finish. Though Samsung hasn't officially announced the price of the LTE connectivity-supported version, prices are expected to range between 350,000 won and 490,000 won.

Garmin, a U.S. wearable device maker, is also scheduled to launch two smartwatches ― the Venu and Vivoactive ― on the same day.

Industry watchers expect that more smart device makers will release their smartwatches, seeking a breakthrough in the sluggish smartphone market.

"Device manufacturers have now turned their attention to wearable devices in part because of the stagnating growth in the smartphone market. Besides smartwatches, the major hardware brands are also allocating more of their resources to the development of other categories of wearable devices with good demand potential, such as Bluetooth wireless earphones," the TrendForce report said.


Baek Byung-yeul baekby@koreatimes.co.kr


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