apple watch
Apple Inc.'s soon-to-be released Watch might handily beat out rivals this year, but could also help "ignite" smartwatch sales for the competition, Strategy Analytics claims. Apple Inc.

A market research firm says Apple Inc. will ship 15 million watches in 2015 alone. The company’s forthcoming Apple Watch will quickly capture the majority of the small, but growing, smartwatch market, according to Strategy Analytics.

The Apple Watch will make up 55 percent of all smartwatch sales before the end of the year, Strategy Analytics predicts. The research firm also expects smartwatch sales to leap from 4.6 million to 28.1 million in 2015.

Apple’s smartwatch may dominate its rivals, but its release will also be a “catalyst” igniting “the global smartwatch market,” which will inevitably increase sales for other wearable manufacturers, the research firm says. Apple will announce more details for the Watch at an event next week, where it is expected to announce when the device will go on sale.

The report says that the Apple Watch is not perfect, and it will have to be “tangibly” upgraded for Apple to maintain its lead on competitors. The gadget's day-long battery life might frustrate regular watch wearers, Strategy Analytics claims, and that its high price could deter some customers.

However, the research firm believes Apple has four major factors that will make the Watch a success: Apple’s valuable brand, its loyal fan base, significant retail presence and expansive app ecosystem.