Published on September 15th, 2016 | by Emergent Enterprise0
Customers Love Fitness Trackers, but Smartwatches? Not So Much.
E-E says: Smartwatches offer more features but are not preferred. Why? User experience. Users want something affordable with a clear valuable proposition. Smartwatches need to clarify their role in the user’s device landscape to see greater acceptance. Which do you choose and why? Leave comments below.
A trend is starting to appear, fitness trackers sales continue to rise, while smartwatches start to dwindle. IDC’s second quarter wearable sales report continues the trend, revealing a 48 percent rise in basic wearables and a 27 percent decline in smart wearables.
Fitbit retained the top spot in the wearables market. It sold 5.7 million fitness trackers in Q2, a 28 percent year-on-year (YOY) growth. Xiaomi also retained its second place, but only had 2.5 percent growth YOY.
Apple, the only company in the top five that only sells ‘smart wearables’, noticed a significant decline in wearable sales. Sales dropped from 3.6 million in the same quarter last year to 1.6 million this year, a 56 percent downturn.
Similar declines seem to be happening across the board for smart wearable manufacturers. None of the Android Wear manufacturers made it into the top five, losing to Chinese health wearable provider Lifesense, which sold one million units.
“Basic wearables, which include most fitness trackers, have benefited from a combination of factors: a clear value proposition for end-users, an abundant selection of devices from multiple vendors, and affordable price points,” said IDC’s Research Manager for Wearables Ramon Llamas in a statement.
Are smartwatches trying too hard?
Most of the smart wearables have tried to become catch-all devices, lumping fitness tracking, notifications, the web, and even phone calls into one device. The experiences haven’t always been excellent, but companies like Apple and Samsung hope that updates to hardware and software will entice more customers.
Fitbit showed at IFA 2016 that it’s not interested in becoming a smartwatch provider,launching the Charge 2 and Flex 2, two fitness trackers that retain most of the qualities of their predecessors.
Garmin and TomTom, two GPS giants, are also turning to the wearable market with ‘basic wearables’ that offer GPS and fitness tracking. Garmin made it into the top five, with 1.6 million sales, a 106 percent YOY improvement—looks like they have a winning formula!