Forecast: Over 50% of smartwatches shipped in 2014 to run Android according to NextMarket Insights

Seattle - In 2014, the smartwatch market is expected to grow to 15 million shipments worldwide, up from 5 million shipments in 2013. According to a new report from NextMarket Insights, this strong growth is expected to provide a new market opportunity for Android moving forward, as the mobile operating system is expected to account for 53% of all smartwatches in the coming year.

"Today's market for smartwatches is a mix of realtime operating systems based on FreeRTOS (such as the Pebble OS and the MetaWatch OS) and Android," says Chief Analyst, Michael Wolf. "As Samsung enters the market and Google possibly builds upon its acquisition of WIMM, we expect Android-based smartwatches to see significant growth in the coming year."

As the smartwatch market grows, a new opportunity will arise for app developers for Android and other smartwatch operating systems. Samsung has already began courting app developers for the Android-based Galaxy Gear, and Pebble has built a sizable base of watchface and app developers for the Pebble OS.

"We expect that the number of developers creating for wearables and smartwatches in particular will grow substantially over the next few years," says Wolf. "Given the oversaturated smartphone app market, we believe that the smartwatch market could provide a new opportunity to develop smartwatch-optimized apps across a number of categories."

Apple is expected to ship a smartwatch in the next six to twelve months, which will also spur additional interest in the smartwatch category.  By 2017, NextMarket Insights expects iOS to account for a quarter of all smartwatch operating systems.

The report, Smartwatch Forecast 2013-2020, is available today for purchase. A complimentary copy of the report's executive summary is available  here. 

You can find NextMarket's smartwatch resource site here