Almost a third of smartwatch owners — 29%, to be exact — have stopped using them, saying they didn’t find the devices useful, got bored with them or they broke. Those findings, released Wednesday by research firm Gartner, don’t indicate that smart watches are on their way out. But what’s troubling is that the 29% rate of “abandonment” hasn’t really changed very much since 2013, said Gartner analyst Angela McIntyre.
Yesterday, Pebble confirmed it was being acquired by Fitbit, and that it will be ending production of its smartwatches. Even as fans of the brand get ready to bid goodbye to the much-loved Pebble, a new survey from Gartner highlights the picture is not so rosy for the overall smartwatch, fitness tracker market.
Research firm Gartner says companies will need to do a lot more on the feature and design front to boost adoption of these devices. Gartner’s survey shows abandonment rate of smartwatches is 29 per cent, while it is 30 per cent for fitness trackers.
The reason is simple: “people do not find them useful, they get bored of them or they break,” says the survey. Also the younger audience (less than 45 year old) is convinced the smartphone can already do what is needed. In such a case, the fitness tracker doesn’t seem like a must-buy device.
Gartner’s survey was done with 9592 online respondents in Australia, US, and UK, in order to understand how consumers view this wearable segment (includes VR glasses as well). Interestingly the survey says smartwatch adoption is still in the early adopter stage at 10 per cent, while fitness trackers are more mainstream (around 19 per cent). This explains why companies like Fitbit, Garmin, even Xiaomi have managed to do well in this segment. VR glasses have been used by 8 per cent of consumers in the survey.
A recent report from IDC showed that the smartwatch and wearable market has taken a big hit. Apple Watch, which was driving the smartwatch market has seen a 71 per cent yearly dip in growth. For now, the future doesn’t look too bright for the smartwatch, wearables segment, which needs to evolve in order to bounce back.