Samsung has made several steps to make its wearable Gear devices popular. Those have included making them compatible with all Android devices and not just its own Galaxy smartphones. However, since Samsung’s marketing efforts over the last few years have concentrated on trying to lure away iPhone users from Apple’s grip, the company will be attempting that again by opening up its smartwatches to users of Apple’s iOS.
Starting later this month through to April, Samsung’s latest smartwatch, the Gear S2, will receive an update that will make it compatible with iOS, further expanding the target customer base of the wearable. Samsung will make available on the iTunes store the Gear Manager for iOS application in order to make the synchronization of data between Apple devices and its smartwatch possible.
It is not yet clear if some features of the Gear S2 like the ability to make mobile payments using Samsung Pay will also be ported over to the iOS app making it possible to transact using the watch while it is paired to an Apple device.
This development comes at a time when the International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts that at least 200 million wearables will have been sold by the year 2020 with smartwatches accounting for a larger chunk of those. At the moment, dedicated fitness wearables and not smartwatches, dominate the market. This is due to the functionality of smartwatches being limited at the moment and the low pricing of most fitness-oriented wearables when compared to smartwatches. This year, smartwatches are expected to account for just a quarter of all wearables shipped.
Apple’s Watch remains the best-selling smartwatch and it is expected to continue headlining the charts throughout the year. Google’s Android Wear and the RTOS (real-time operating system) that powers several wearable devices are expected to also gain momentum and maintain their second and third positions. Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches are not expected to fair so well as per IDC’s projections. Hopefully, the introduction of iOS compatibility will go a long way in reversing that.