The GPS fitness watch market is on-track to hit $1.07 billion in 2013, according to ABI Research's latest GPS market report, and that growth will come regardless of whether the rumors of an Apple smart watch turn out to be true or false.
"Low cost watches rapidly emerged in 2012, and are forecast to take a significant chunk of the market in 2013," noted senior analyst Patrick Connolly.
He pointed to projected GPS IC shipment estimates that indicate that well-known watch, fitness apparel, and electronics makers are all planning one new GPS watch launches in 2013.
"In 2012, Motorola's MOTOACTV watch was a great example of how a new entrant can instantly win market share with a strong feature set and good price point," Connolly said.
Lesser-known names are also getting into the business, and the CES show included health/fitness watches being exhibited by start-ups including Leikr, Pebble, and Basis.
Cellular GPS fitness watches are coming from I'm Here and Bia Sport.
The market research firm said device manufacturers should accept that users now have familiarity and data banked with certain applications. Such users will be enticed by the ability to tie into their data rather than re-start with a new analytics package.
The research firm's Dominique Bonte noted the rumors of Apple products coming in this category in 2013, but they may be unfounded. "If an Apple watch did feature integrated GPS, it would no doubt significantly boost shipment forecasts in 2013."
to Daily News