Study Shows That a Third of Smartwatch Buyers Ditch Them Shortly After Purchase

April 3, 2014 - Written By Ray Greer

< The smartwatch is a very exciting idea, and many OEMs are taking their own idea of what it should be, and making it a reality. Consumers seem to be enthralled with the idea, but is it just that, a good idea? A new trend is becoming more and more apparent in the wearable market, that is that consumers just don't want to hold onto the device. The question is why? what is making consumers toss their new smartwatch up on eBay or Craigslist? Researchers at Endeavour Partners in the US, have found that one-third of consumers purchasing smart watches gave up on them within six months. When it comes to the smartwatch, there are two scenarios that could lead to the same outcome, the ditching of a wearable. The first scenario involves the quick release of an updated version of the smart watch. This scenario happens all too often with a lot of technology, the average consumer only finds out about a new device when they intend to go out and purchase one. For some, that could be months after the release of the device. Given that we know, as tech nerds, that new technology takes about a year to come yet - if not less - we pay close attention to the release of devices. The average consumer on the other hand, may purchase a device, and then find out that the new version comes out weeks or months later. This could be frustrating for just about anyone. Picture this; you buy a new smartwatch, and you want to show it off. You go around showing to everyone you know, and then you come across someone whose reaction isn't what you were looking for. Instead of amazement, they ask if that watch is the old one? You find out that a new version of your brand new smartwatch has just been released. You scream with frustration, and the device on your wrist is now not as cool as you thought, so you sell it. Problem is, since yours is the "old one" you will have to sell it for less than you bought it, and that makes you even more angry since it is in "like new" condition. That brings us to the end of scenario one, the second scenario most likely happens more rarely than the first, but is still a threat to the future of wearable tech around the world.< Samsung Galaxy Gear 5

The second scenario, we only see with the Samsung Galaxy Gear, since it was offered as a cheap accessory to your Galaxy smart phone. Certain carriers offered the Galaxy Gear at a discounted price, and for some, such a deal just couldn’t be passed up. So they purchased the device and soon found that their device was unnecessary and try to sell it off to make a bit of a profit. This scenario takes less explaining, but there is one underlying similarity between both scenarios. The smartwatch just hasn’t become a necessity in everyday life just yet.

This could be the main problem with wearables, and could be the downfall of the wearable altogether. When we look back to the first smart phone devices, we saw early adopters then as well. Though the technology was new and growing fast, people still held onto their first device without worrying about what was coming out. The reason for this is simply necessity, having access to the internet at all times was a great deal to many people, thus they didn’t feel the need to part with their device. Unfortunately for smart watches, they don’t offer anything we don’t already have on our smartphones.

We can send and receive texts using voice commands on our smartphones, we can search quickly using Google Now, and there is nothing really that the smartwatch offers us that we don’t already have besides added convenience. Back to that study done by Endeavour, who found that what we need in a smartwatch is not only those notifications, but we need enhanced usefulness, better battery life and appearance. We have seen the effects of a well designed smartwatch with great usefulness and a wide range of compatibility in the Moto 360. The only thing is, the device has not been released, and so we’re not sure what will happen when consumers get their hands on the device. It’s entirely possible that Android Wear will make a huge difference in succeeding where others may have fallen short. Motorola may have excelled in designing a better product whereas Samsung just couldn’t get it right. Wearables as a market is too new a sector to accurately predict where things will lead, but hopefully the early sales don’t drive other OEMs from giving it their best to make a difference in the market. On the contrary, we hope this drives them to innovate and make the wearable a more useful device on it’s own.