The market research house Canalys is projecting that 53.6 million cellular smartwatches — ones that don’t need to be tethered to phones — will be sold in the the year 2020.
At first blush, that looks like a pretty enthusiastic prediction, particularly in light of the company’s wildly optimistic count of 7.5 million being sold this year. The underlying logic, though, appears pretty sound.
First of all, Canalys points to the adoption this year of the eSIM standard, which promises flexibility in carrier selection and vast savings in size and power drain. The company also points to the wider availability of better LTE chipsets, as well as commercially available LTE watches from Samsung and LG.