With sales of Samsung's Galaxy Gear now surprisingly good, it appears that the smart watch segment just might be the growth market tech manufacturers have been hoping for. Though Samsung and Sony are now the leaders in the high end of the market, several players are already tackling the smart watch from a different angle - fitness.
Nike in particular has been developing its Nike+ fitness apps and hardware for years. The athletic wear company already markets two different types of fitness-related smart watches, the Nike+ Sportwatch and the Nike+ Fuelband SE. According to a DigiTimes report, Nike now has a 30% share of the sports equipment market worldwide, putting it in a position to compete with tech companies in the wearable computing market.
That same report holds that Nike is already preparing its refreshed smart watch lineup. DigiTimes' unnamed "sources in Taiwan's supply chain" are cited as saying Nike will release a brand new smart watch (not a Fuelband or Sportwatch) sometime in the first half of 2014. The company is reportedly already performing trial production of its new smart watch.
Smart watch and other wearable computing device shipments are expected to increase rapidly in the coming years. DigiTimes' own research arm predicts that over 24 million smart watches will ship in the year 2016. With clothing and tech this year's most popular sales items during the Black Friday weekend, the coming merger of these two product segments could create the next huge growth market for both tech and clothing manufacturers.