The rapid advancement of smart devices means that by 2018, an estimated 271 million gadgets will be connected to the Internet, a massive increase from 35 million last year.
The release of wearable technology, such as the Pebble Smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear and highly anticipated Apple iWatch, will have a “tangible impact” on this mobile traffic. These devices will appeal to a wide demographic of users, due to their ability to connect to a mobile network via a smartphone without the need for embedded cellular connectivity.
However, while these wearables may seen novel and exciting, they have yet to pose any real threat to smartphone use. Online traffic from the technology will account for just 0.5% of smartphone traffic globally. Although their usage is increasing, it is increasing slowly, with global traffic from wearable devices rising from 0.1% at the end of last year to just an estimated 0.4% by 2018.
It appears that users may see these smart watches as having limited capabilities compared to mobile devices. The shape and size of the screen could make the phone and text functions more difficult to make best out of bingo games as access to game apps and mobile compatible sites will likely be substandard compared to its mobile equivalents.
Despite these concerns, the market sector for wearable technology will inevitably expand. By 2018, it will be worth an estimated $30 billion. However, compared to the $168 billion that the smartphone market was worth in 2012, this figure seems less impressive. Around 177 million smartwatches are predicted to be sold by 2018, but this figure is dwarfed by the 2.3 billion smartphones that the IDC are estimating will be purchased each year.
This evidence seems to indicate that while some may be interested in this new and emerging technology, most consumers simply desire to have the latest, most sophisticated model of smartphone in their pocket instead.