In 2015, smartwatches were all the hype and envy of many individuals particularly those in the tech industry. These wearables were intended to be used as an accessory and as a device that can be functional for mobile users. And with all the rave about them last year, it's easy to see why so many smartwatches were introduced in the market in 2015 alone. Based on a 2015 Consumers and Wearables Report gathered by the NPD Connected Intelligence, one in every ten adults in the US own a fitness tracker. The group also discovered that 71% of people who own a smartwatch are male. The big question here now is-- why aren't more women using a smartwatch?
While many women tend to own a fitness tracker, a smartwatch is a different story. And even if they are "essentially" a similar piece of technology (in the sense that they are worn on the wrist), there's a lot more behind it than what we already know. Even though smartwatches offer more functionality other than counting your steps, monitoring sleep, and even tracking heart rate, there are plenty of other reasons why women aren't too fond of wearing smartwatches. Here are a few reasons:
Reason #5: Not too many options for women, design-wise
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons as to why not a lot of women own a smartwatch is the fact that there aren't too many of these that fit our liking. Most of the smartwatches that came out in the past year all look too "masculine" with all their black or brown leather bands and even the bulky stainless steel bands. Except perhaps for a few models, smartwatches don't really look too pretty to wear on the wrist. Sure there are some smartwatches with a rose gold strap, but even this is a limited selection. Women want more to choose from and would certainly want to wear a smartwatch that looks chic or fitting for their personality. And honestly, the black leather straps are overrated; although functional. Women prefer something more classy yet different. We want more options than just black, brown, or rose gold. It wouldn't hurt to have a smartwatch in white, tan, or even a mint green color. Throw on some jewels and maybe we'd be interested.
Thankfully, one such company has already addressed this concern. At the recently concluded CES 2016, Huawei introduced a couple of new smartwatch styles for women-- the Elegant and Jewel. Although these two look similar, there are some key differences that separate them from each other. The Huawei Watch Jewel has a bezel embedded with 68 Swarovski Zirconia crystals while the Huawei Watch Elegant comes with the standard Huawei Watch with a rose gold body and a bezel surrounded by three rings of tiny rose gold studs. The two watches come with faux-crocodile leather that comes in white or navy blue options (yay!). Personally, I prefer the Huawei Watch Jewel in navy blue as it looks different from the common Android smartwatch design. Plus its faux-crocodile leather stamp makes it all the more likable!
Reason #4: They're too big
Apart from the limited options we get to choose from, smartwatches are commonly scaled for those with broad hands and big forearms. And when women wear these devices, they look too big and uncomfortable on the wrist. Both Motorola and ASUS did it right with their Moto 360 2nd Gen and ZenWatch 2 (consecutively) models. The Moto 360 2nd Gen is now available with a 42mm strap for women while the ASUS ZenWatch 2 is available with a 22mm or 18mm strap. Tech companies that plan to offer smartwatches for women really should take a look at these examples.
A good solution here would be to resize the watch itself. Perhaps it would be good for tech companies to offer a watch with a smaller face, a thinner strap, and a more delicate style. This would give women more options to choose from!
Reason #3: We blame it on stereotyping
Going back to the rose gold color that a number of smartwatch manufacturers followed after the introduction of the Apple Watch, we hate the idea that our options have been so limited. It's 2016 and still, manufacturers think that pink is "too girly" and opted to create a smartwatch in this hue intended for women. In this time and age, women want to be able to choose a gender-neutral color we can easily mix and match with our daily outfit. And no, putting a rhinestone on the watch should not make it "for women". Take it from the Apple Watch that was able to create different mix-and-match options for their 38mm and 42mm watches. Just like men, some of us prefer larger/thicker watches while some prefer smaller/thinner watches.
Reason #2: It's not always about functionality
Although it would really help if the product was functional and lived up to its name. While we can appreciate sporty-looking accessories, we want something we can wear when we're dressing up or going to work. Tech companies should take after the example of fitness trackers that have developed products that attracted female owners. Take for example, the Fitbit fitness tracker that presented the Tory Burch-designed pendant necklaces and cuff bracelets in 2014 and managed to successfully hide away its Flex tracker in these accessories. Considering that these devices were intended to track activity, they were able to keep doing that as we went about with our daily routine. If our options were only limited to sporty-looking smartwatches, we'd tend to leave it at home the next time we dress up for a date or even go to work. And most of the time, we're really not wearing sporty apparel other than when we're working out or hitting the gym. It would really be great if tech companies created a smartwatch that we could use on a daily basis.
Reason #1: We don't see the need for it
Perhaps the marketing of smartwatches are to blame here - women don't really see the need to have another piece of technology to carry around, unlike fitness trackers which women see as beneficial in the end as it helps understand their movement. And in the end, they can do something about their activity. With a smartwatch, in the meantime, many women think that its function is too much for this time.
The best thing to do here is to market these smartwatches on how they can make things better for women. It just takes some getting used to but promise, we'll love it once we see what all the hype is about. So there you have it - reasons why not too many women own a smartwatch. It's interesting to see how tech companies will consider these reasons and create a line of smartwatches that appeal to women.