The smartwatch market is one of the most competitive imaginable in the modern age, and 2016 is set to see a continuation of this trend. If anything, the level of competition and innovation is set to increase in the year ahead, especially with Casio’s inaugural smartwatch likely to diversify the market and create an entirely unique option for consumers.

While Casio’s unique, military-approved smartwatch is set to wow consumers this spring, however, it is the Apple Watch that remains the most popular product of this type. Fans of this product will be disappointed to note that Apple has delayed the release of its next generation smartwatch (the Apple Watch 2), which had initially been scheduled for March.

Originally, Apple had planned to release the watch alongside the predicted iPhone 6C unveiling in the spring, but this has now been postponed until the second half of 2016. According to a 9to5Mac insider, Apple will instead take the opportunity in March to introduce new strap options and OS tweaks to their first generation smartwatch, as the brand looks to leverage the product further ahead of an autumn release for the new wearable device.

While this will align the second generation Apple Watch with the release of the iPhone7, this is more of a coincidental benefit that the main reason behind this. Some have suggested that Apple has made its move in order to avoid direct competition with the new Casio smartwatch, which is enjoying incredible reviews in the press and considered to be something of a game-changer in the wearable technology market. It is certainly the first product of its type to have been designed by a traditional watchmaker, meaning that it combines the best of two distinct and technology-driven worlds.

Alternatively, Apple may have taken the decision in a bid to refine the design of its next generation watch to compete with other market rivals. The Moto 360 and Samsung Gear S2 devices have earned rave reviews for their superior design and circular faces, and Apple appears keen to jump on this bandwagon and revolutionise the design of its own products. Clearly a strategic move, Apple is looking to leverage the remaining potential in its existing smartwatch while timing the release of its next offering to suit the market.

While this may come as a disappointment to Apple fans, there is at least some comfort to be found in the fact that the first generation smartwatch will benefit from some minor improvements. March will see the release of new strap options, for example, with new colours being introduced and the brand set to experiment with one or two materials.
Without question, the first generation Apple Watch was a market leader, both in terms of design and the functionality that it offered to users. From advanced health metrics to direct access to your favourite apps and slot sites, this product blazed a trail for others to follow. The space is now far more competitive, however, so Apple is taking the time to revise its product range and maintain a thriving market share.

[Written by External Partner]
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