Report: Smart watch shipments to hit 5 million units in 2014

Posted by Trent Nouveau

It's true that current-gen smart watches have gotten off to a relatively slow start, although the status quo is likely to be shaken up in 2014.

Indeed, Apple, along with a number of other industry heavyweights, including Google and Microsoft, is rumored to working on its very own wrist design.

According to researchers at Canalys, increased interest is set to grow the smart watch segment by a staggering factor of ten.

Skeptical? Well, the research firm believes at least five million smart watch units will be shipped in 2014. This would be more than 15 times the 330,000 units shipped in 2012, and 10 times the 500,000 expected to ship in 2013.

As AppleInsider's Kevin Bostic notes, next year's smorgasbord of smart devices are expected to mark a significant advancement over the current standard in the market.

"Right now, Sony leads the industry with regard to device capabilities, but even its most recent model will likely be outstripped should the rumors surrounding forthcoming devices prove true," wrote Bostic.

"Currently, smart watches like Sony's - and the device made by Pebble - largely function as a means of remotely interacting with one's smartphone: displaying messages, controlling music, and so forth. The next generation, though, may leverage a battery of sensors and low-power wireless technology to not only interact with the wearer's smartphone, but also his body."

As previously discussed on TG Daily, Apple is "aggressively" hiring engineers for its iWatch team to "iron out" a number of issues related to the device's design. However, according to the Financial Times, Cupertino staff working on the high-priority project are unable to solve certain difficult engineering problems.

The Financial Times also reports that the iWatch could hit the streets in late 2014, echoing recent predictions by KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo who believes the device will debut in the second half of next year in a market that is likely to become overcrowded relatively quickly.