Will the new Apple Watch finally make smartwatches a mainstream thing?

  • Apple Watch Series 3, reportedly with its own internet connection, will go on sale during the holidays
  • Market research firm NPD says smartwatch ownership will grow 60% by 2019, comprising 15% of U.S. adults

The new Apple Watch has gone into the final stages of production testing at Taiwanese manufacturer Quanta and will soon be headed into full production, according to a report today from China’s Economic Daily. The new Watch, which will reportedly contain its own internet connection via an cellular radio, will likely be announced at a press event next month. The Economic Daily report says the new device won’t become immediately available after the event, however, but rather will show up sometime during the holiday quarter later in the year.

The new Watch might help fire up consumer interest in smartwatches, which are still climbing up the mainstream adoption curve. Less than 10% of adults wear them right now, according to a report published today by the research house NPD Group. NPD believes consumers’ embrace of the devices will begin to accelerate in the next couple of years, saying about 15% of U.S. adults will be wearing them by 2019. That’s a growth of 60% from Q2 2017 through Q4 2018, NPD says, “driven in large part by anticipated new product introductions from market leaders.”

Here NPD is clearly pointing to the Apple Watch, which is now the runaway leader in the smartwatch space now that some makers of Android-powered smartwatches have backed away from the market after tepid sales. Currently, according to IDC, Apple Watch is in third place in the overall wearables marketplace (including fitness trackers), behind Fitbit and Xiaomi.

Read more: With WatchOS 4, The Apple Watch Might Finally Free Us From Our PhonesMS