By most reports, the smartwatch industry is currently stagnating as both consumers and watchmakers are dissatisfied with its present state. Namely, industry experts suggest Apple failed to bring smartwatches to the mainstream audience for the second year in a row and three of the largest Android Wear manufacturers are skipping 2016 in its entirety due to a number of technical reasons and the fact that the smartwatch business simply isn’t that profitable at the moment. Most of today’s smartphone adopters are young males while middle-aged and older men and pretty much all women aren’t interested in purchasing a wearable for their wrist. Granted, there is a number of reasons why smartwatches don’t appeal to a larger demographic than they currently do but one extremely important one has just been highlighted by a study conducted by a research firm First Insight.
Namely, after a surveying a representative sample of American consumers in July, First Insight concluded that most people believe that smartwatches are simply too expensive. In fact, almost half of all of the interviewed people stated that they aren’t interested in future smartwatches and are just waiting for the prices of the already existing ones to come drop. Furthermore, 69% of men and 74% of women interviewed by First Insight revealed that they don’t want to spend more than $200 on a watch but ideally wouldn’t even spend more than a $100. Given the fact that most of the latest smartwatches such as the Samsung Gear S3 Frontier (price not official yet, but expected to be around $400), LG Watch Urbane 2, and Apple Watch Series 2 cost around twice as much as the upper price bracket cited by the consumers, the problem is rather clear – people aren’t willing to spend smartphone-level money on existing smartwatches.
In addition to that, 37% of the surveyed consumers stated that the most important feature of a smartwatch is related to its features, a quarter of them said they primarily care about the price tag, 18% answered with “build quality”, 12% were mainly interested in the style of the watch, and only 8% said that they shop by brand first and foremost. Naturally, these numbers provided by First Insight are suspect at best considering the fact that the Apple Watch series is still selling better than its Android Wear-powered competition and other rivals, which suggests that brand power is a much more significant factor in the smartwatch business than this study suggests.
All in all, it remains to be seen where will the smartwatch industry go from here as its growth heavily depends on appealing to a much larger demographic than it currently does.