With smartphones now dominating mobile phone sales worldwide, manufacturers are looking past tablets toward the next untapped device market. Judging by the success of the poorly-reviewed Samsung Galaxy Gear, the next big market is shaping up to be wearable devices.
Market research firm Strategy Analytics predicted that the global wearable device market will hit 125 million units sold by the year 2017. The firm believes that smart watches, smart glasses, and fitness bands will be the biggest sellers in wearable computing over the next five years. In addition to the coming wave of smart watches and the headwear segment that will begin with Google Glass, Strategy Analytics believes that both Apple and Microsoft will be "key vendors" in the years to come.
“Texas Instruments, Google, and Samsung should be seen as the pioneering vendors for launching products at an early stage in the markets’ life-cycle, but key vendors among the second wave of entrants will include Apple and Microsoft,” said Matt Wilkins, director of Tablets & Wearables at Strategy Analytics.
With the wearable computing market set to take off, developers are just as eager to jump ahead of the curve as manufacturers are. Strategy Analytics conducted a survey of app developers and found that over 27% of them expect to work on software for wearable computing products within the next year.
Though the same survey found that over 90% of developers develop for smartphones, slightly fewer of them expect to do so next year. It appears instead that developers are looking toward video game consoles, tablets, smart TVs, and cars as future platforms in addition to wearable devices.