Last week, Jupiter Research released a report that suggested that interest in wearable technology will reach a level of $19 billion by 2018 compared to sales of wearable tech this year which is anticipated at $1.8 billion.
As a result, you won’t see a week go by where announcements or rumors in this sector fail to make it onto the printed page or the Internet. According to sources close to HTC Corp (TPE:2498), a company that never comments on rumors, the company is working on a smartwatch that will both connect to the Internet and take photos.
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HTC Corp (TPE:2498)is presently struggling with its handset sales as it loses more and more market share to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Samsung and others. HTC recently reported its first quarterly loss and its stock is down 54% on the year.
Presently, Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) (TYO:6758) and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (LON:BC94) (KRX:005930) both have smartwatches on the market and HTC CEO Peter Chou was recently quoted by the Financial Times saying that wearable technology is “a critical segment for us.” He also added that he wasn’t sure that it was the right time for the company to enter the fray.
The size of the wearable technology sector in the opinion of Nitin Bhas of Juniper Research is due to “heightened consumer awareness of wearable technology.” He also believes that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) will soon be throwing its own hat into the ring shortly.
Apple’s iWatch rumor
It’s long been rumored, to the point of fact, that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be releasing its own smartwatch in 2014 while Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is expected to release its Glass to the public. In addition to Sony and Samsung, the Pebble Watch and FitBit Force are among the competing products that HTC Corp (TPE:2498) will have to best if they are indeed working on a smartwatch.
Due to the Taiwanese handset maker’s recent struggles, CEO Chou is planning on relinquishing some of his day-to-day duties in order to revitalize the company. It’s expected that Chou will focus on innovation and product development that has been lagging in recent years. While the HTC One is a solid phone and reviewers have been raving, HTC seems to be heading deeper into the shadow cast by Samsung.