There's no denying the fact that the wearable industry is growing like crazy. The idea of having a smart device on your person that isn't a smartphone and actually also functions as a fashion accessory is definitely appealing to many, especially in the West. However, as interested as consumers are in smartphones, it seems like quite a bit of them suffer from buyer's remorse after purchasing a smartwatch.
At least, that's what Ericsson's latest research on customer adoption of wearables suggests. After conducting a survey that encompassed 5,000 people from all around the world, the Swedish company came to the conclusion that every third buyer of a smartwatch is dissatisfied with his or her new purchase and has given up on using it in the first week since purchasing it. Things aren't that grim given how 90% of wearable owners still haven't resold or threw away their gadgets but this piece of information still shows that the industry still has a long way to go before figuring out how to make the latest and greatest tech appealing to the masses. Yes, the current growth is extremely positive but it's completely unsustainable if wearable manufacturers can't figure out a way to actually keep people using their products after buying them as a disillusioned mass consumer market is more than capable of completely killing off this industry.
Going below the surface, Ericsson's research suggests that the only thing smartwatch manufacturers had figured out is the marketing aspect of their business. For example, the fitness trackers are currently selling well given how they're designed with a clear purpose and are aimed at a completely defined audience but the issue is – that same audience expects more from them. Every fourth user of a wearable surveyed by the Stockholm-based company expressed extreme disappointment with his or her purchase and no less than 60% of interviewees stated that they believe a smartwatch should be much more than just a fitness tracker. Furthermore, a lot of users are disappointed with the fact that basically all current wearables are close to useless without an accompanying smartphone which Ericsson concluded to mean that wireless providers need to figure out new offers for wearable connectivity.
Regardless of their initial disappointment, the survey concludes that consumers are still interested in wearables. Smartwatch shipments have already reached 8.1 million units which means they even topped shipments of Swiss watches by solid 200,000 units. Ericsson claims this is because these new gadgets are relatively affordable in comparison to their more traditional competition and also have the novelty factor on their side. So, the appeal towards smartwatches is definitely there and the only thing that manufacturers have yet to do is figure out a way to keep their customers happy after they've already given them their hard-earned money. Will they succeed in that endeavor? Only time will tell.