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Apple Watch to surge smartwatch sales to 46 million

The Apple Watch could create a surge in the smartwatch market, pushing wearable sales from 19.6 million in 2014 to 45.7 million in 2015.

Most wearables sold today come from fitness tracking suppliers, not smartwatch makers. That trend is about to change, with analysts predicting anywhere between 10 and 30 million Apple Watch sales in 2015.

IDC even predicts by 2019 wearable sales will hit 129 million per year. That is a hefty amount, but follows the growing trend for smartwatches. Xiaomi launching its own smartwatch in China alongside watchmakers like TAG Heuer and Swatch entering the market are only going to accelerate growth.

Devices running third-party applications will be key to the growth over the next four years, meaning the Moto 360, LG Watch Urbane, Apple Watch and potentially the Pebble Time will be critical products.

Even though features like calling, reading notifications and using apps seem to be at the forefront of customers interests for smartwatches, Apple is trying the fashion approach to sell its own wearable.

Google is working on more intuitive technologies for its own Android Wear platform, still focused on making sure its platform can one-up the Apple Watch on a functionality level.

Android Wear only accounted for 720,000 sales in the second half of 2014. Google is hoping this number will naturally continue to grow with the launch of the Apple Watch, the prime time smartwatches are being covered across the globe.

There is no insight as to whether the smartwatch market will cannibalise time spent on smartphones, or in the future users switch over to a wearable and sell the smartphone. This would be odd and potentially crippling for Apple that makes more revenue on an iPhone sale.

Currently, most smartwatches connect to a smartphone for notifications and other services, meaning the user cannot remove the smartphone from the equation. In later years, we expect this to change with new internals capable of running all the services in the background.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.