Smartwatch sales in the US were up more than 60 percent in 2018. As the wearables market begins to mature more people are buying smartwatches. The data is provided by the NPD Group. Total sales last year were nearly $5 billion.
Market dominated by a few firmsApple, Samsung, and Fitbit together make up 88 percent of Smartwatch sales according to NPD data during the time NPD was monitoring them. This is a particularly bad figure for Google as none of them make the company's Wear OS devices.Smartwatch market is just starting rapid growthThe NPD data showed that owners of smarwatches grew from 12 percent in 2017 to 16 percent in 2018. Most of the increase was driven by younger buyers as between the age of 18 to 34 almost a quarter of the group own a smartwatch. The growth is also driven by the fact that many smartwatches now have functions that mimic those of health and fitness wearables. For example Apple has added fall detection to its smart watches. Samsung's latest Galaxy Watch model has added fitness and sleep tracking features.Google buys smartwatch tech from FossilThe new tech will make its way into Google's Wear OS watches. A recent article notes: "Google and watchmaker Fossil Group today announced an agreement for the search giant to acquire some of Fossil’s smartwatch technology and members of the research and development division responsible for creating it.The deal is worth roughly $40 million, and under the current terms Fossil will transfer a “portion” of its R&D team, the portion directly responsible for the intellectual property being sold, over to Google. As a result, Google will now have a dedicated team with hardware experience working internally on its WearOS software platform and potentially on new smartwatch designs as well." Reports indicate the technology is health related.
Previously published in Digital Journal