When it comes to smartwatches, the hype about complex, multifunctional devices is fading – fast – with consumers deciding to buy a greater number of simpler devices, reports Juniper Research.

“While basic smartwatches account for around 30 percent the current market value, Juniper anticipates that this share will grow to almost 40 percent within the next five years,” the research firm says in a new report. 

“[W]hile the number of high-end smartwatches is faltering, ‘smart analogue’ or hybrid watches remain largely unaffected by the market slow-down. These watches have traditional watch faces but offer some connected functions (like tracking steps or enabling NFC payments), and claim a larger portion of the market than previously anticipated.”

NFC refers to near field communications technology that enables two devices, such as a smartwatch and a payments terminal, to “talk together,” thus enabling what is called contact-less payments.

While the smartwatch market has slowed, Juniper still estimates sales of $21 billion a year by 2021 with some 60 million devices being sold.

The emerging trend for simpler functionality grows “vendors will refine or remove unpopular functionalities, focusing on specific use cases, such as fitness and health.”

Industry consolidation also is continuing.

“Motorola and Huawei have both withdrawn for the present, while Pebble and Vector have been acquired. The sector is now primarily the preserve of Apple, Samsung and Fitbit, together with traditional watchmakers like Fossil and TAG Heuer,” Juniper reports.

Read more at: http://www.juniperresearch.com