It wasn’t so long ago that smartwatches were considered ultra-futuristic and largely impractical. While smartwatch technology has been in development since even before IBM launched their Linux Smartwatch in the early 2000s, it wasn’t until the arrival of the Apple Watch and the Samsung Gear in the commercial market almost 15 years later that the concept really began to take off.
Now, smartwatches are taking the tech world by storm. It is expected that 113 million units will be shipped in 2022, almost double the 68.59 million units shipped in 2020. By 2026, this is expected to double again, hitting 230.30 million in five years’ time. Other studies suggest that the market will be worth $132.9 billion by 2026 — up from only $57.3 billion in 2021. A meteoric rise, certainly, but what does this mean for the online gambling market, or for online gambling technology?
Smartwatch Gambling in the Years to Come
With technology rapidly becoming ubiquitous, it seems impossible to imagine a future without smartwatch gambling. In fact, a number of online gambling and gaming providers are already offering products designed to be used on smartwatch user interfaces and operating systems. In effect, the age of smartwatch gambling is not something to look forward to — it’s already here.
While this form of online betting is still in its infancy, we can certainly expect it to develop rapidly in the coming years as smartwatches grow more common and more capable. In terms of early frontrunners, we can expect Apple’s smartwatch products to be the most useful to gamers, simply because there are more of these watches around. Apple remains the top vendor for smartwatch products and is expected to provide almost 47 million of the 113 million units shipped in 2022.
Apple Leads the Way, But Competitors Are Gaining Ground
However, Apple’s dominance in the market is waning. When the Apple Watch first launched in 2014, the tech giant enjoyed a gargantuan 75% market share, effectively cornering the market all by itself. In 2022, however, the landscape has changed. The statistics listed above show us that Apple is expected to secure just over 40% of the market in the coming year. This gives developers and gaming providers a far more diverse set of options as they craft and launch products.
Security Concerns to Be Addressed
Once developers and providers have gotten to grips with the unique interface and operating systems of smartwatches, there is no barrier to their usage in the gaming environment. While digital security firm Kaspersky has raised concerns about the security of smartwatches — mainly related to their tracking capabilities and integration with the Internet of Things (IoT) — this is no different from the situation with other pieces of mobile tech such as smartphones.
As smartphone gambling now contributes over 57% of total gaming revenue worldwide, the stage appears to be set for further mobility and convenience from wearable tech. Smartwatch gambling is perfectly positioned to provide this mobility and convenience to the world’s gamers.