U.S. wearables as a whole are not doing as well as had been forecasted earlier this year.
While certain specific wearables are doing well, the American wearable technology market as a whole is not growing as expected. A new eMarketer report suggest that even top performers aren’t reaching the anticipated growth levels.
This, at the same time that Apple continues to insist that its Apple Watch sales are “doing great.”
The eMarketer data showed that Fitbit, the Apple Watch and other devices were expected to see a 60 percent year over year growth from last year to this year. That said, the firm announced it is slashing that estimate to a notably lower 25 percent growth rate. The report pointed out that “smartwatches in particular have failed to impress customers.” This category of the American wearable technology market has seen considerable struggle in becoming accepted into mainstream use.
The challenge in the American wearable technology market is in giving consumers a reason to buy.
Nicole Perrin, analyst at eMarketer, explained that before the Apple Watch arrived in the wearables space, fitness trackers were leading the way. Today, health and activity tracking are among the most-wanted features in wearables, including the Apple Watch.
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The issue, according to eMarketer, is that Apple has yet to convince the majority of people who are not early adopters that a smartwatch is worthwhile. This is particularly true when taking into consideration the price tag that goes with that smartwatch when compared to the price of the average fitness tracker. Indeed, the Apple Watch comes with greater functionality, but it seems that most device users have yet to be convinced that the additional features are enough to pay the larger price.
Perrin stated in the report “Without a clear use case for smart watches—which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality—the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.”
The eMarketer report estimated that the American wearable technology market will include 39.5 million adults who will use a connected wearable gadget at least one time per month. As large as that figure may be, the firm’s prediction had been that there would be 63.7 million people in that group by this point.