Some of the most anticipated products at the upcoming International Consumer Electronics Show are wearables. None more so than the Apple watch, although whether or not it can match the success of the iPhone or iPad remains to be seen. However, some stakeholders believe it will make wearables the next hot commodity.
T-Mobile chief executive officer John Legere predicts, “Wearables and phablets will be the big device stories of 2015. I love what Jawbone, Fitbit, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, and others are doing in the wearables space. But we haven’t begun to see the potential of this category. It’s going to go from $1 to $20 billion in the next few years. And though we won’t see its full impact in 2015, I believe that the Apple Watch will mark the tipping point when wearables go from niche to mainstream.”
That said, Legere warns, “At the same time, phablet sales will continue to sky rocket—up at least 50 percent. This will have a couple of important side effects. First, phablets will continue to cannibalize the tablet market, and second, the rise of phablets, which are made for data hounds, will continue to fuel the exponential growth in mobile data use. And, of course, T-Mobile customers, who use the most data, will continue to lead the pack in mobile data use.”
Other companies are also vying for a foothold in the burgeoning wearables market. Samsung has released several smart watches and Google has introduced devices running on its Android Wear platform, which currently only work with selected Android phones.
The Apple Watch is expected to come out sometime in spring 2015 with a starting price tag of around $350 going up to as much as $5000 for the premium Apple Watch Edition.