With or Without Apple, the “iWatch” Market Is Worth Billions, Says ABI Research

Apple is rumored to be working on a smart watch with a team of 100

By on February 13th, 2013 13:19 GMT

ABI Research forecasts that the GPS fitness watch market will reach $1.07 billion / €794 million in 2013, with or without Apple. However, if they do release the iWatch, Apple will “significantly boost shipment forecasts in 2013,” says ABI.

ABI provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. Most recently, they’ve set their sights on smart watches.

Apple is said to be working with a huge team of specialists to get this product out the door this year.

Tim Cook knows Apple has to stay innovative under his lead, so what better way to regain Apple’s winning image if not with a flexible-glass iWatch?

But ABI is not putting all its money on the rumor. The research firm notes in a new white-paper that “whether the Apple smart watch rumor is true or not, the GPS fitness watch market is set to reach $1.07 billion in 2013.”

This according to the company’s latest quarterly “GPS & GNSS” Market Data which forecasts fitness watches split by price tier.

Senior analyst Patrick Connolly said, “Low cost watches rapidly emerged in 2012, and are forecast to take a significant chunk of the market in 2013.”

“From a competitive point of view, projected GPS IC shipment estimates indicate leading watch, fitness apparel, and electronics vendors are planning to release new products in this space in 2013,” added Connolly.

The analyst provided an example pointing out to Motorola’s MOTOACTV, saying it shows “how a new entrant can instantly win market share with a strong feature set and good price point.”

ABI’s Dominique Bonte chimed in to note that, “There have already been unfounded rumors around Apple in 2013, so let’s wait and see. If an Apple watch did feature integrated GPS, it would no doubt significantly boost shipment forecasts in 2013.”

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