Juniper Research’s latest smart devices report is out, and it suggests that fitness trackers are becoming so commoditized that the larger companies are worried more about the software than the hardware.
The company’s third report on wearables expects that 116 million smart wearables will be sold in 2017, five times the 27 million estimated for this year. Still, that’s only about 5 percent of the smartphone market. Device revenues, Juniper predicted, will reach $53 billion by 2019.
While larger companies — Samsung, Google, Qualcomm and presumably Apple — focus on building ecosystems, independent device makers will need to build products that simultaneously are differentiated but will fit into one (or more) of those ecosystems. That may prove to be difficult.
But while consumer devices are becoming commoditized, much of the action in the next few years will likely be in enterprise and healthcare applications, “as these segments have clear use cases that technology can solve.”
One minor note: this report was originally released on September 9 — the day of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch announcements. Not much else got written that day, so Juniper re-released the report today.