Fitbits and Apple Watches may be the “it” device for the fashionable early-adopter, however, a new report has found post-purchase many of the devices simply end up in the bottom of a drawer somewhere.
The report, by tech research firm Gartner, surveyed 9,592 respondents from Australia, the US, and the UK. It found the abandonment rate of smartwatches was 29 percent, and 30 percent for fitness trackers.
The main reason users dumped the devices was they broke, they got bored of them, or they simply had no use for them in their lives.
According to the survey, smartwatch adoption is still in the early adopter stage (10 per cent), while fitness trackers have reached early mainstream (19 per cent). Meanwhile, only eight per cent of consumers have used VR glasses (excluding the nasty cardboard types).
The survey found that we typically buy a wearable as a treat for ourselves, although 34 per cent of fitness trackers and 26 per cent of smartwatches were given as gifts.
Another interesting stat was that respondents found wearables too expensive given the perceived usefulness. It also said that lesser known brands would struggle in the market against big tech names such as Apple or Google. Too, users said they found the devices a bit ugly and makers were urged to partner with with companies that design, brand, market and distribute watches and fashion accessories.
“Dropout from device usage is a serious problem for the industry,” said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner. “The abandonment rate is quite high relative to the usage rate. To offer a compelling enough value proposition, the uses for wearable devices need to be distinct from what smartphones typically provide. Wearables makers need to engage users with incentives and gamification.
“Continued growth in the adoption of smartwatches and fitness trackers will now be from mainstream consumers instead of early technology adopters. The greatest hurdle for fitness tracker and smartwatch providers to overcome is the consumer perception that the devices do not offer a compelling enough value proposition,” she said.