Buying a new smartwatch every few years will become the norm for consumers, according to TAG Heuer CEO, Jean-Claude Biver. The comments were noted during a conversation with TechRadar, where Biver made it clear that in time, people will become more accustomed to upgrading their smartwatch on a regular basis. Much as they have with other electronics. Biver draws on the TV market as an example for comparison, explaining that consumers will likely change their TV set “at least three times in the next 10 years.” While further noting how this upgrade behavior is in stark contrast to what it was like back in the 1950s. Adding that in time the general smartwatch consumer will also get used to a similar pattern of upgrades with their smartwatches.
The comments are meant to be taken in relation to the wider issue that smartwatches have yet to become as established as other products. One of the reasons thought to be behind the lack of smartwatch momentum at present, is the price. Although that is changing due to the wider number of smartwatches that are becoming available, and at more affordable price points. Another reason (and the one largely relevant here) is how quickly smartwatches are seemingly becoming outdated. Essentially requiring the user to upgrade far more frequently than they might want (or expect) to with a normal watch. While this is arguably the same case for the likes of a smartphone (which also arguably, is an even more expensive purchase), smartphones continue to see a decent upgrade rate, compared to smartwatches which are limited in their adoption levels to begin with, let alone upgrade levels.
While parallels can be drawn against the likes of a TV or a smartphone, there are additional issues which smartwatches will need to overcome. For instance, at present they do not offer the same level of unique functionality that a TV or a smartwatch does. For instance, nearly everything you can do with a smartwatch, you can already do with a smartphone. In addition, there is also the added issue that smartwatches do not come with the same build quality that can be found with traditional watches. Something that more often than not, consumers equate to price and value.