#AceSalesNews – Featured Report:Feb.26: Company hosting media event in San Francisco as speculation swirls over price of the devices, Apple’s first big product roll-out since the iPad USA Today reported today.
Based on the title of the invite, it’s highly likely the company focuses on the Apple Watch, its first jump into the wearable market slated to launch at the start of the year.
Apple’s entry into the wearable market is expected to jump-start the smart-watch market, which has struggled to grab consumer interest. A report from research firm Canalys found 720,000 smart-watches featuring Google’s Android Wear platform shipped last year.
Meanwhile, the Pebble smart-watch, which took off on Kick-starter before moving into retail, topped 1 million in sales in two years. On Tuesday, Pebble unveiled a new version of its smart-watch, Pebble Time, that boasts a color screen and built-in microphone.
It will sell for $199 at retail, but early adopters could snag an early version of Pebble Time through Kickstarter for $159. The campaign proved to be a huge success for Pebble, topping $10 million and netting more than 48,000 backers.
But it’s the arrival of the Apple Watch that could determine how lucrative the smartwatch market will become. Research firm CCS Insights predicts Apple will sell 20 million watches by the end of the year.
“The Apple Watch will be instrumental in taking the wearables market to the next level of growth,” says Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insights. “If successful, it’ll create a rising tide that will lift the whole market.”