Retail tracking firm GfK has surveyed 1000 people about the wearables market. Perhaps the most interesting piece of news is that one-third of wearable buyers abandon their devices inside of six months after obtaining it. But that could be due to the fact that some of these devices were given away with the purchase of a smartphone.
Some of the companies that are surviving in this market, do so by constantly making their product useful. Eric Micigovsky, chief executive of Pebble, notes that his customers use the watch at first for notifications and the changeable watch faces. But over time, these customers start realizing that there are so many more things that the device can do, such as controlling the thermostat and other household appliances.
Despite all the functionality available with a smartwatch, the intelligent timepieces make up just 11% of the wearable market, according to the survey. With 39% of the market, health and fitness trackers come first. Wrist computers, which track additional activity, account for 26% of the wearables market, while action cameras like the GoPro models make up 24% of purchased wearables. The expense of the device is what is keeping sales from exploding. 28% of consumers say that cost is the most important thing they look at in determining whether or not to purchase a fitness tracker.
Pebble's Micigovsky says that it is still very early in the game, comparing the wearables market now, to the smartphone market when the OG Apple iPhone was launched in 2007. According to the executive, the whole smartwatch market got a boost with the introduction of the Apple Watch, even though the latter won't be launched until next year. Pebble is aiming to be a survivor. It has sold 400,000 units so far, and Micigovsky says that its sales were not hurt by the recent release of watches from Samsung, LG and Motorola."Market research shows that we held our own," he says.
The survey discovered that at 33% and 26% respectively, people would prefer to wear wearables as bracelets or shoes. Gender plays a part in this as men would like to have these devices placed on shirts, shoes or belts, while women prefer necklaces, bracelets and rings. While Apple is trying to get its Watch considered a fashion accessory in addition to being a tech device, in the U.S., 42% of wearable buyers prefer to buy such products from a tech firm instead of a jewelery manufacturer. That figure rises all the way to 69% for wearable buyers in South Korea.