The Apple Watch is expected to boost the somewhat struggling smartwatch market when it launches sometime in 2014.
Despite devices launching from rival competitors, the Apple iWatch is expected to be the biggest driver for overall smartwatch market shipments.
DigiTimes Research suggests the annual smartwatch shipments will be greatly boosted by the launch of the Apple iWatch, especially in comparison to rival devices like the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony SmartWatch 2.
If the Apple iWatch launches in 2014, smartwatch shipments for the year are predicted to reach 5.92 million units, 22.79 million in 2015 and 75.66 million for 2016.
Without an iWatch launch, annual smartwatch shipments will only stand at 1.82 million for 2014, 6.19 million and 24.15 million for 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Alongside the Galaxy Gear and SmartWatch 2, Google is expected to launch its own smartwatch, currently known as the Google Nexus Gem.
Apple iWatch Rumours
Tipped to launch with a price tag of around £96 – £147, the Apple iWatch will launch sometime in 2014 with a 1.5-inch screen similar to the old iPod Nano.
However, latest rumours suggest the iWatch could launch with three different screen sizes of 1.3-, 1.4- and 1.5-inches, all made with a plastic, flexible display.
The wearable tech device could also launch with a curved design, helped by the curved battery tipped by a recent patent filing.
Earlier in the year, it was reported that Apple has a 100-strong team working on the iWatch, made up of “managers, members of the marketing group, and software and hardware engineers who previously worked on the iPhone and iPad.”
The iWatch was also teased by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who said the wearable tech space is “ripe for exploration.”