Watch out Samsung and Pebble, here comes Android Wear and iWatch

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While Samsung and Pebble make up 96 percent of the $96 million U.S. smartwatch market, according to the latest stats from NPD Group, Google and Apple are getting ready to launch their offerings.

Google is preparing to launch its Android Wear at its I/O developers conference later this month, according to a report by The Verge. And rumors have been circulating that Apple will unveil its fabled iWatch this fall, perhaps in October.

"The smartwatch market is poised to continue to grow in 2014. With nearly $100 million in U.S. sales in less than a year, the category is off to a promising start with just two major brands," says Ben Arnold, executive director of industry analysis at NPD.

Earlier this year, NPD conducted a survey of U.S. consumers and found that 20 percent said they were interested in buying a smartwatch. For 16-24 year olds, that number jumped to 30 percent. At the same this age group is the least able to afford a smartwatch. Cost was cited as the number one barrier to purchase.

The average price of a smartwatch is $189, although a Galaxy Gear smartwatch must be purchased with a Samsung smartphone, which increases that actual cost substantially.

"We've seen smartwatches become more affordable as manufacturers eye the opportunity to add them to smartphone purchases almost as an accessory. Like any new product category, the overall ASP [average selling price] on these devices will decline as the market becomes more diverse with budget, mid-level, and premium product offerings," says Arnold.

For more:
- check out the NPD release
- read The Verge report

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