100 million smartwatches will be sold by 2019

Smartwatches will take off, and indeed according to Juniper Research, come the year 2019, over 100 million smartwatches will be on wrists across the world.

Currently in the wearables market, cheaper fitness bands remain king – with three times as many folks in the UK owning one compared to a smartwatch. But a recent YouGov report agrees with Juniper in that going forward, many more people are indicating a desire to buy a smartwatch in the future.

What's going to help adoption, Juniper argues, is premium brands bringing out devices which are inherently more desirable, and also offer extra functionality.

Those premium offerings include the Apple Watch, of course – which should be out early 2015 – with TAG Heuer, Swatch and others expected to enter the market over the next 12 to 18 months. These premium devices will have a premium cost, though, and the average price for a smartwatch will remain over $200 (£125) until 2020 at the very earliest, Juniper believes.

Related: Swatch plans to unveil own smartwatch next summer

What sort of new features are expected? Things tied to GPS and NFC, for example Apple Pay which is Cupertino's NFC-based payment system that will come on board its smartwatch. There won't be one single "killer" feature which helps push smartwatches, rather a range of features.

Design and aesthetics will naturally also play a big part in ensuring smartwatch adoption – that's desirability on a basic level. We're not convinced Apple has quite hit the mark on that front with its smartwatch, but we're betting some of the luxury watch makers stepping into the smart market won't make that mistake.