Apple Inc. (AAPL) Rivals Hope iWatch will Shake Wearable Market

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to launch its next generation iPhones with 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays, and perhaps the iWatch on September 9.

Over the past several months, there had been a lot of speculations about the iPhone 6 and the iWatch.  Analysts have no doubt that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will unveil its new iPhones, but there are uncertainties regarding an iWatch announcement next week. However, there is a consensus expectation that the wearable device is coming soon.

Analysts, technology observers and even the rivals of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) are highly-anticipating its entry in the wearable market. It is interesting to note that Apple’s competitors are hoping for the success of the iWatch, and not the other way around.

Some of the top executives of companies that already entered the wearable market are still struggling to define what a “wearable” is, and they are hoping the Cupertino-based giant would be able to solve the missing code to attract the interest of consumers.

In an interview with Reuters, Sung-jin Lee, director of LG Electronics Inc. (KRX: 066570) said, “If Apple offers its own product, it will expand the market.”  He added that the wearable market “is not a gold rush yet, but it has a potential to be.”

On the other hand, Sunny Lee, CEO, European business of Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) commented they want Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to launch its iWatch. The report from Reuters suggested that Apple’s rivals could follow its lead in the wearable market by making their own improvements or discovering profitable niches.

Strategy Analytics, a market research firm reported that only one million smartwatches were shipped during the second-quarter. Currently, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) dominated the wearable market with 74% market share followed by Pebble Technology Corp and Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) with 13% and 8% market shares, respectively.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd (KRX:005935) already have several smartwatch models. The South Korean electronics giant recently unveiled its Gear S smartwatch powered by Tizen mobile operating system. Its other Tizen-powered smartwatches include the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, while the Galaxy Gear smartwatch is powered by the Android OS from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

Ben Wood, mobile analyst at CCS Insight opined, “Ultimately, what all these companies have been doing is just public prototyping. We are in the Stone Age of wearable right now.”

In addition, Wood noted that the entry of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to the wearable market would bring a sense of fashion and sleek design. At present, its competitors in the industry focused their development on the technological capabilities of their smartwatches and not so much on its outward appearance or usability.