Smartwatches fail to live up to analysts' expectations, lack of defined purpose to blame

Smartwatches fail to live up to analysts' expectations, lack of defined purpose to blame
In the beginning of this year smartwatches were expected to be the next best thing after smartphones. They showed a lot of promise and there was significant hype around them. This is no longer the case, it seems.

The research company eMarketer estimated that 63.7 million Americans will use a wearable device with Internet connectivity at least once a month. The firm now acknowledged its incorrect prediction, dropping this number down to 39.5 million. The same company estimated that the usage of such devices will grow more than 60% among US adults in 2016. Instead, it only grew 24.7%.


This would certainly explain the recent acquisition of the smartwatch company Pebble by Fitbit, a company that manufactures fitness trackers. It appears that consumers are not ready to pay the higher price for a wearable, the features of which are already covered by basic fitness trackers and average smartphones.

Additionally, eMarketer predicts a slow growth for the smartwatch industry moving forward. According to the research company, this year only 15.8% of people will own a wearable, and the usage will grow to just 21.1% by 2020.

Do you think that eMarketer is correct, or do you still believe that smartwatches will rise to become the next consumer electronics king soon? Do let us know in the comments.

source: eMarketer via BusinessInsider

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26 Comments

1. cozze02

Posts: 119; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

I disagree, i work outside and continually have my hands full. It's very convenient to be able to see my notifications so I don't have to take my gloves off and pull my phone out everytime.

5. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

Why would you have to take your gloves off? I don't take mine on off. I use my iris scanner. But you can enter pin if you have fingerprint scanner. It's like regular watches, some people like myself don't like wearing them. I don't care if it's smart or not. I don't want to wear a watch.

8. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I do not need to take off my gloves either... My device has got Glove Mode built-in.

19. cozze02

Posts: 119; Member since: Nov 25, 2012

my gloves are entirely to big to dig the phone out of my pocket. I'm sorry I said anything lol

18. TylerGrunter

Posts: 1544; Member since: Feb 16, 2012

Have you ever thought of buying gloves that can be used with touch screens? It looks to me like a simpler/cheaper solution than a smartwatch.https://www.amazon.com/iGotTech-Texting-Smartphones-Touchscreens-Details/dp/B00TA06N7U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1482338590&sr=8-2&keywords=gloves+smartphone

2. TheOracle1

Posts: 1879; Member since: May 04, 2015

In my case I still can't see the need for one. So I agree.

20. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Ditto. Haven't found a need for one since their mainstream emergence in 2013.

3. tedkord

Posts: 17078; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

They're definitely a solution looking for a problem.

4. Moose

Posts: 418; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

I'm not surprised, smart watches are just a gimmick in my view. Who wants to stare at such a small screen other than to check the time when you have a much larger, easier to read screen in your pocket? Makes no sense to me.

6. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Charging everyday are the best point.

7. Tizo101

Posts: 515; Member since: Jun 05, 2015

all I need is a fitness band not a smart watch (coz it's pointless)

9. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Smartwaches will soon become the norm... It's all about time.

10. Sapere

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

It depends really on what are the demands of the people using this kind of devices. For me it helps a lot being quickly informed and be able to manage your phone in your pocket without need to take it out... I am amazed especially at the Samsung gear S3, which I posses for 2 weeks now, what this little device is capable of... not only it can do everything advertised, but you can remotely capture photos and video directly from your wrist through your phone, you can listen to any soundtracks in your phone and manage everything from this little watch S3... I am just amazed, how I can skip or get back to soundtrack in my phone only by rotating of the watch bezel... its amazing feature and I am so excised about this small feature. Moreover you are receiving also whatsapp messages in S3 gear with ability to reply, without even installing anything on this watch!!!! It just works, if you have Whatsapp application installed in your phone, as you would dream to be working... Planning to buy one more gear S3 for my child, when it gets cheaper after Christmas... :)

11. Sapere

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

It depends really on what are the demands of the people using this kind of devices. For me it helps a lot being quickly informed and be able to manage your phone in your pocket without need to take it out... I am amazed especially at the Samsung gear S3, which I posses for 2 weeks now, what this little device is capable of... not only it can do everything advertised, but you can remotely capture photos and video directly from your wrist through your phone, you can listen to any soundtracks in your phone and manage everything from this little watch S3... I am just amazed, how I can skip or get back to soundtrack in my phone only by rotating of the watch bezel... its amazing feature and I am so excised about this small feature. Moreover you are receiving also whatsapp messages in S3 gear with ability to reply, without even installing anything on this watch!!!! It just works, if you have Whatsapp application installed in your phone, as you would dream to be working... Planning to buy one more gear S3 for my child, when it gets cheaper after Christmas... :)

12. Sapere

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

error message repeating

13. Klinton

Posts: 1408; Member since: Oct 24, 2016

Tech device category, invented and forced by Wall Street, but not by natural needs and tech evolution,- is expected to have this fate.

14. Jason78

Posts: 281; Member since: Apr 10, 2013

I have a Garmin GPS watch with some smart features. After about 1 day I turned the notifications off. I don't need my phone to vibrate and then my watch to vibrate to let me know I have a call, text, or email.

15. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

This is what I said all along. Sure, there are certain people who have a specific use-case for them, but generally speaking, they are an accessory to an accessory. Due to to that redundancy, they will never be more than what they are now. Augmented reality, like with google glass, I can see having more of a defined use over the long term. However, I think technology, especially battery technology, needs to improve to make that a truly viable endeavor.

16. darkkjedii

Posts: 30781; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I used the hell outta my Apple Watch, and I use the hell outta my Gear S3. I have a lotta purpose for them, fitness, notification, phone calls to name a few. The Gear is also standalone, so that makes it even more versatile.

17. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

Yes, but you are an outlier. People who are into fitness could find more use in them because they are already wearing some form of activity tracker. Your average person isn't into that though. There will always be some use-cases that a device like these will serve, but it will never be any more popular than it was at the beginning.

21. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree to a point. Fitness trackers are a dedicated option with a specified capability an benefit. With the explosion of fitness centers like XSport, Planet fitness and others over the past few years, people want to be able to track what they are doing. many who have personal trainers and physical therapists, and who are trying to stick to a certain diet; love the fitness trackers to keep track of what calories they are burning and more vs what they are taking in. But I think the major adoption of them was also due to price. Smartwatches are stupid. I dont' care if its the Apple Watch, Android Wear options and even the Samsung Gear. The major issue to start is price. They cost to much. cellular enabled or not. The other issue is they basically duplicate 75% of the function on your phone. Galaxy devices especially is an issue because unlike Apple, Samsung put heart rate capabilities on the phone. The phone can also track steps and workout just like the watch. So its to much duplication of functions. Stopwatches and timers with alarms are already on your phone. So the Gear especially is of no benefit, except in cases where you may need a phone, but don't want to carry your handset. For me, armbands to hold a phone are uncomfortable. Dependin on where you live, have your phone visible, makes you an open target for being robbed. A smartwatch with cellular capabilities, will allow you to carry a smart device, that looks like many fancier sport watches, and allows your hands to be free and open to handle your workout and you can sync everything when you come back, and the UI offers enough tracking complexity to monitor what is being done so that you don't need a phone. And you get the benefit of still getting yoru calls, getting yoru texts, with a very lightweight device. Even though this is very nice, and convenience always costs more money, I'm not sure $350+ is a reasonable cost to pay. I think fitness bands being limited and dedicated, shouldn't cost any more than any typical decent watch.$59.00 ~ $125. If you add cellular capabilities than maybe an extra $100. But trying to sell these things for 1/2 the cost of a full phone is lame. Especially when you can get a smartphone for its price or even less. For people like me who love all tech toys and aren't that concerned about the cost, that doesn't mean I like being ripped off for limited features. The more limits the less it should cost. Everybody doesn't need to be like Apple. The screen size makes the device limited. But there are good app ideas where you can get quick info that makes them good. Apple does have better dev support, but the apps aren't all that great. Because even though it gives you some info, you still have to pull out your phone which defeats the purpose. What devs need to do is think about the benefits of at-a-glance. Make it show all the info by scrolling so I dont have to use dials or rotating bezels

22. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

In my case, I've been tempted to buy a smartwatch, but the sole though of having to charge one more device every night isn't that appealing. Battery is one of my top requirements in a device.

23. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I bought the Huawei Watch and it took about 2 months before I quit wearing it. It will even go almost 2 days between charges with the right settings, but it really isn't worth the headache. Now the only time I wear it is if I'm in an environment where I can't physically check my phone.

25. 0kax0el0

Posts: 238; Member since: Nov 15, 2012

I use to carry a 6th gen iPod nano in a writsband, yes I know it's no smartwatch by far, but I could see the time, listen to music and had a basic fitness tracker, in a single charge for almost a week. I think I've read of a smartwatch that can also go almost a week, but it's also limited in functionality and can't remember which one was it. We need a revolution in battery technology.

24. Sapere

Posts: 16; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

One more benefit using smart watch I have just discovered few days ago : you don't drop your phone, if you can receive /deny calls and read the incoming messages while occupied by other things... The risk of dropping your phone is lowered almost to zero, as you only use your phone, when you are in position suitable for it and both handed in most cases... So really, having smart watch has even this pretty awesome aspect, which costs users without smart watches often huge expenses...

26. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Anyone know why PA will delete a comment that is on the subject with no bad language. Just a honest comment why smart watches haven't really took off in a big way? Is this a revised article? Why they don't do anything to people who call others names and spread hateful comments. Just curious. This will probably get deleted too.

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