Category Archives: Wearables

Smart Watch market enters into decline for first time

Research firm IDC says shipments of the Apple Watch have dropped by 55% resulting in the first year-on-year quarterly shipment decline for the smart watch sector, reports

Preliminary data from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker estimates vendors shipped 3.5 million units, down from 5.1 million in the same period 2015. Apple, which dominates the smart watch market share, saw its shipments decrease from 3.6 million in Q2 2015 to 1.6 million this year. While it is a substantial drop, it does also demonstrate Apple’s strangle hold on the market. All other vendors in the top five increased shipments, however Apple still controls 47% market share.

“Consumers have held off on smart watch purchases since early 2016 in anticipation of a hardware refresh, and improvements in WatchOS are not expected until later this year, effectively stalling existing Apple Watch sales,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Apple still maintains a significant lead in the market and unfortunately a decline for Apple leads to a decline in the entire market. Every vendor faces similar challenges related to fashion and functionality, and though we expect improvements next year, growth in the remainder of 2016 will likely be muted.”

A recent report from Ericsson indicating the wearables market is not performing in-line with consumer expectations, as general consensus is the technology is not advanced enough to date. A common cause of dissatisfaction is customers feel tethered to their smartphone, as the wearable device does not have standalone features. Respondents of the survey also highlighted the price was a barrier to entry, though this may be down to the fact smart watches cannot currently be used as a standalone device. Currently, it is an add-on.

“What will bear close observation is how the smart watch market evolves from here,” said Llamas. “Continued platform development, cellular connectivity, and an increasing number of applications all point to a smartwatch market that will be constantly changing. These will appeal to a broader market, ultimately leading to a growing market.”

This is not the first warning sign for the smart watch subsector, as Strategy Analytics recently released a forecast which estimated shipments would decline by 12% over the course of 2016. There has been a growing consensus shipments of the Apple Watch may have peaked following a blockbuster launch in Q2 last year, though the research from IDC could imply the decline is moving faster than previously anticipated. IDC also stated it does not expect the market return to growth in 2017.

Although smart watches have not penetrated the mainstream market currently, what could give the devices a lift is the entry of traditional watch brands. Casio, Fossil, and Tag Heuer have launched their own models, though the brand credibility associated with these brands could give the segment a much needed boost.

Top Five Smartwatch Vendors, Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth, 2Q 2016 (Units in Millions)
Vendor 2Q16 Unit 


2Q16 Market


2Q15 Unit


2Q15 Market



Year Growth

  1. Apple
1.6 47% 3.6 72% -55%
  1. Samsung
0.6 16% 0.4 7% 51%
  1. Lenovo
0.3 9% 0.2 3% 75%
  1. LG Electronics
0.3 8% 0.2 4% 26%
  1. Garmin
0.1 4% 0.1 2% 25%
Others 0.6 16% 0.6 11% -1%
Total 3.5 100% 5.1 100% -32%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, July 21, 2016

44% of consumers have issues with wearables functionality

Iot isometric flowchart design bannerFindings from Ericsson ConsumerLab claim consumer enthusiasm for wearables technology is still growing but vendors are not meeting price or functionality expectations, reports

The research focused on opinions from 5,000 smartphone users from Brazil, China, South Korea, the UK and the US, though it’s worth noting 50% of respondents were current owners of wearables technology, a much higher proportion of the general public. While the statistics demonstrated there is still an appetite for wearable technologies outside of fitness applications, price of entry could be a barrier for entry, as well as customer expectations on functionality generally exceeding what vendors are currently able to offer.

32% of respondents said they would be interested or willing to buy a Panic/SOS button, and 25% said the same for an identity authentication device. Smart Watches were still of interest to the industry as 28% said they would have an interest in purchasing such as a device, but this statistic contradicts recent reports the segment has been declining. Strategy Analytics forecasted a 12% decline in Apple watch sales this year after a strong launch. A third of non-users have stated the cost of keeping digital devices connected is a key reason why they haven’t invested in wearable technology to date.

While the SA report could indicate a slight hiccup in the adoption of wearables, this is also backed up to a degree by the Ericsson report which states 10% of wearable users abandoned the technology. This is mainly due to the capabilities which are on offer. A common cause of dissatisfaction is customers feel tethered to their smartphone, as the wearable device does not have standalone features. This could also be tied into the overall value/price proposition of the devices as could be seen as a product of convenience as opposed to a smartphone replacement.

In terms of the reasoning for abandoning wearables, over half of respondents said the devices did not meet expectations. 21% highlighted limited functionality and uses, 23% stated the fact the device was not standalone or didn’t have inbuilt connectivity was the reason, where as 9% said inaccurate data and information. Despite the concerns over functionality, 83% of respondents said they expect wearables to have some form of standalone connectivity in the near future. Should this be the case, 43% believe wearables will ultimately replace smartphones.

“Although consumers show greatest interest in devices related to safety, we also see openness to wearable technology further away from today’s generation,” said Jasmeet Singh Sethi, Consumer Insight Expert, Ericsson ConsumerLab. “In five years’ time, walking around with an ingestible sensor, which tracks your body temperature and adjusts the thermostat setting automatically once you arrive home, may be a reality.” Other use cases included a smart water purifier, gesture communicator, virtual reality sports attire, emotion sensing tattoos and a wearable camera.

The survey does demonstrate long-term viability for wearable technology, though there would have to be increased functionality before it could be considered mainstream. It would appear standalone connectivity would be the bare minimum required, as the currently offering seemingly does not offer the value to customers should they have to continue to carry a smartphone as well as the wearable device.

Salesforce: Use of wearables in the enterprise to triple in two years

Salesforce says use of wearables in the enterprise will triple over the next couple of years

Salesforce says use of wearables in the enterprise will triple over the next couple of years – under the right conditions

Use of wearables in the enterprise will more than triple in the next two years, with smartwatches emerging as a popular candidate to deliver sales and customer service improvements, Salesforce claims.

The CRM company surveyed over 1,400 working adults, 500 of which are wearable tech adopters, to find out how wearable technology is being used in the enterprise, with smartwatches emerging as the most impactful platform in terms of delivering improved sales or customer service experiences or data that can generate insights to improving those processes (digital lanyards and smart glasses rank second and third, respectively).

While wearable tech is still quite a nascent segment (only a fifth of those surveyed overall use wearable for the most basic use cases) research does suggest employees are sold on the potential of these technologies to have a material impact on their businesses.

Salesforce said 79 per cent of adopters agree wearables will be strategic to their company’s future success; 76 per cent report improvements in business performance since deploying wearables in the enterprise; and 86 per cent of adopters plan to increase their wearables spend over the next 12 months.

Just over half of adopters (54 per cent) claim their company supports Bring Your Own Wearable (BYOW) model, while 40 per cent said they companies plan to support BYOW in the future.

“Wearables are the next phase of the mobile revolution. Like smartphones before them, the key to success for wearables in the enterprise is all about the killer business apps,” said Lindsey Irvine, global director of strategic partnerships, Salesforce. “This research demonstrates the tremendous opportunity for wearable use cases to drive significant business value.”

About 52 per cent of respondents said they use or plan to use wearables for real-time access to customer data; 49 per cent for hands-free instruction or guides to field service; and 48 per cent for access to business analytics and alerts.

But according to the research about 30 per cent of adopters cite the lack of business applications as a primary challenge in deploying wearables, and just 8 per cent of wearable adopters said they’re ready to gain actionable insights from the volume of employee and customer data generated from wearables.

Salesforce said that a rich app ecosystem will be required for enterprises to feel confident in deploying and integrating wearables with their existing IT landscape and business processes. Improvements in wearable tech will also be required – among respondents who indicated they have yet to incorporate wearables into their business plans, 25 per cent said that they’d be motivated by lower cost and 15 per cent by devices that can better multitask.

Watch Why Phone Calls on the Apple Watch Will Be a Disaster (NSFW)

One thing Apple is undeniably great at is user experience. That being said, while we’re certainly excited for most of what the Apple Watch will bring to users in regard to apps, we’re still not sold on the idea of answering calls with our wrist. Turns out, neither was this guy (Warning: Video below is NSFW)… […]

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