Smartwatch Apps Double Within the First 45 Days of Launch

New interfaces can create new opportunities for designers and developers. In the latest wearable technology craze, the smartwatch leads the way in new app development and third-party opportunity for software developers.Tweet This

Smartwatch Apps Double Within the First 45 Days of Launch

As with other mobile technology, apps provide an opportunity for third-party developers to capitalize on the sales of popular brands like Apple. Wearables have become increasingly popular as fitness bands like Fitbit and others sold a combined 37 million units during 2015SamsungPebble, and Huawei entered the smartwatch market this same year, but the Apple Watch led the pack with 66 percent of market sales at an estimated 12 million units in 2015. The International Data Corporation has estimated that smartwatches shipments in 2016 may reach 34.3 million units and more than 88.3 million units by 2019.

Apple introduced the smartwatch which launched with 3000 apps on April 24th, 2015. In little more than 30 days, the number of available apps had grown by 108% to reach 6352 by June 8th. The number of developers working to create custom-branded apps continues to increase. As of February 2016, the Apple store featured 16,205 apps available for the smartwatch.

Games Rule on the Wrist

Games can offer and addictive and lucrative opportunity for app developers. Top picks like Tamagotchi Classic and Trivia Crack bring back a retro gaming feel while innovative ideas like Lifeline can keep consumers hooked. Games have been a growing market for app makers. When the Apple Watch launched in April 2015, 313 of those apps were games. By June 8th, that number had risen to 607 games – a 94% increase.

While specific stats for the watch have not yet been made available, games are by far the most dominant download in the Apple app store, with 22.49% of total downloads. Top grossing iOS games generate more than $1 million per day, and the US is projected to report revenues around $3 billion dollars from mobile gaming in 2016. It’s clear that this new platform provides game developers with an additional opportunity to tap into this market.

Additional Opportunities

Games are big, but these aren’t the only apps to gain popularity on wearable devices. The top five development categories (as of June 2015) for the Apple Watch showed the utilities category featuring a higher percentage of apps than even games at 12% of the market. Utilities include practical apps that can help make a device “even smarter.” Flashlights and calculators are some common examples, also notes, conversion apps and assorted locators.

After games and utilities, the most popular market categories were: Productivity (8%), Lifestyle (7%), and somewhat surprisingly low – Health and Fitness (7%). Developers who want to get in on this growing market have been actively encouraged to do so. The Apple WatchKit helps developers convert their existing mobile apps to a watch-friendly interface.

New opportunities are expected to arise for software developers as the Apple Watch is rumored to release new models in March 2016 and an Apple Watch 2 in the fall of 2016.