33% of wearable owners get rid of devices in the first six months

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The wearable device category can be said to have exploded in the past few years, with the invention of the smartwatch by companies such as Pebble, not to mention the fact that Google jumped into the foray with its Android Wear, and then Apple with its yet-to-come Apple Watch. It’s safe to say that the wearable category is here to stay and pretty profitable, right? Not according to the latest survey from retail tracking firm GfK, who have surveyed 1000 people about the wearable market.

The most interesting piece of information to come out of this survey is that one third of people who purchase their wearable devices abandon them within six months after obtaining them. This figure is quite high and doesn’t bode well for the wearable market, though the figure could be due to the fact that wearables are sometimes given away with contracts and not actively bought themselves.

The survey also found that the companies that are surviving in the market are doing so by constantly making their products useful for their consumers. Consumers are noted for only using their watch for notifications at first but soon discover how useful they can be and the things that they can do, such as controlling the thermostat in their houses.

However, despite the functionality that has been placed into these devices, smartwatches are found to only take up 11% of the wearable market, with 39% of the market taken up by health and fitness trackers. Wrist computers, which track other activity, account for 26% whilst cameras, such as the GoPro make up 24%.

One of the reasons why the market hasn’t exploded as much as we think it should have is because of the price. The survey reveals that 28% of consumers have stated that is it the cost of the wearable device that is the most important thing they look at in whether or not they want to buy the device. However, Pebble’s chief executive, Eric Micigovsky, has compared the wearable market to the smartphone market back in 2007.  He states that the smartwatch market will get a boost with the introduction of the Apple Watch, which is to be launched sometime next year.