Brands and OEMs had such high hopes for the smartwatch industry the past couple of years. Market research firm eMarketer even forecasted that for 2016, the wearables industry will experience 60% growth. However, they had to recalibrate their latest forecast and said that growth was only at 24.7% and this is largely due to low smartwatch adoption. The good news is that fitness trackers are still on the rise, and that it may be the savior of the industry.
Smartwatches and fitness trackers aren’t necessarily the same thing, although they do have a lot of similarities. The latter also offers some features aside from tracking your fitness activities, like notifications, alerts, etc. But generally smartwatches have more features and a larger display, and you can read chats and text messages, issue voice commands, answer calls, etc. Apparently, a lot of people don’t see the need to have a device that is too similar to smartphones, because, if given a chance, you’d probably use the bigger device right?
For those who want to have wearable devices, the more important thing is that it is able to monitor fitness metrics, specifically heart rate, steps, calories burned, etc. And that is something you can find more in fitness trackers of course. Wearables are gaining traction particularly with the female segment and is seeing growth in the 18-34 year old category. And this growth is what’s fueling the wearable industry, and not the more expensive smartwatch.
eMarketer anticipates that there will be a 21.1 percent growth in the market by the year 2020. Currently, less than 16% of the entire US adult population used wearables in 2016 and only 39.5 million US adults used a wearable device at least once-per-month. This should give wearable creators, particularly smartwatch makers, something to think about.