Many consumers are likely to be surprised finding a fitness tracker or smartwatch under the tree at Christmas this year.
But Santa may get a bit bummed later as almost a third of those
happy gift recipients ultimately will relegate that wearable device to a bureau drawer, never to see the light of battery recharging again.
Almost a third (30%) of the fitness trackers
consumers buy or receive as gifts ultimately are abandoned, according to a new study. It’s not any better for smartwatches, with 29% of them also ultimately abandoned.
comprised a survey of 9,600 online consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia, conducted by Gartner.
The reason people abandon their smart device is because people do not find them useful, they
get bored or they break, according to the study.
Kind of the good news in all of this is that fitness trackers are only in the early mainstream at 19% of consumers and smartwatches are even
earlier that that at 10%. Lagging behind both of those is virtual reality, with only 8% of consumers having used VR head-mount displays, which excluded cardboard types.
While most people
typically buy fitness trackers and smartwatches for themselves, more than a third (34%) of fitness trackers and a quarter (26%) of smartwatches are given as gifts.
Consistent with other
studies, the Gartner survey found that consumers see wearables as being priced too high, given their perceived usefulness.
For fitness trackers, U.S. consumers lead usage at 23% followed by
the Australia at 19% and the U.K. at 15%.
The leading smartwatch country is the U.S. at 12%, while the U.K is at 9% and Australia at 7%.
Many of those who stick with their wearable
tend to use them a lot.
More than half (58%) of people who use a smartwatch use it very day and of those who don’t (33%) use it at least several times a week.
In yet another
negative, fitness trackers and smartwatches are not appealing to consumers from the standpoint of design.
Fitness trackers were considered unappealing devices by 29% of consumers in the three
regions and people younger than 45 tend to think a smartphone can do everything they need.
Even though many abandon wearables, many who have them stick with them.
More fitness trackers
will be sold as replacement devices rather than first-time purchases from now until the middle of next year, according to Gartner.
Wearables do have a core constituency. Manufacturers and
marketers just need to increase its size over time.