Holidays Should Be Hot for Smartwatches

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Holidays Should Be Hot for Smartwatches

Holidays Should Be Hot for Smartwatches

Sales of smartwatches are currently in a slump with orders for the Apple Watch dropping an estimated 90% since the hoopla of its launch earlier this year. Even so, the makers of wearable devices shouldn’t panic yet because a new report claims that smartwatches are becoming more popular and sales will boom over the 2015 holiday season.

According to a report from Parks Associates entitled “360 View Update Smart Watch and Beyond: New Mobile Experiences” more than 40% of smartwatches are purchased as gifts. Also, the percentage of U.S. broadband households that plan to buy a smartwatch has grown from 8% last year to 9% this year.

Harry Wang, Director of Health & Mobile Product Research at Parks Associates, looked into his crystal ball and predicted, “Nearly two-thirds of smart watches were purchased during the holiday season last year, so retailers and manufacturers should be preparing now for a smart watch push during the 2015 holidays.”

The Apple Watch was announced last fall but did not go on sale until spring 2015, missing last year’s lucrative holiday shopping season. The upcoming holiday rush should give sales of the pricey device the boost that it needs to improve Apple’s bottom line for the year.

The report gave this insight into what customers want in a smartwatch. “Consumers expect the smart watch to be part of the mobile and connected home ecosystem,” said Wang. “Among both owners and those planning to purchase a smart watch, 42 percent will buy a smart watch only if it works with apps from multiple companies, so manufacturers must ensure their offering is interoperable with other devices in the consumer IoT (internet of things).”

Wang feels that the introduction of the Apple Watch has given the market for wearable devices a needed shot in the arm. “Apple’s entry into the smart watch race in 2015 provides a much needed impetus to growth in smart watch adoption, which has hitherto failed to meet expectations.

“Traditional and luxury smart watch manufacturers have been playing a waiting game to gauge consumer interest and reactions to the smart watch,” added Wang. “Apple’s entry introduces some urgency as the traditional and luxury watch manufacturers do not want to fall too far behind when introducing new products.”

The most popular places to buy a smartwatch are Amazon and Best Buy, which together account for 44% of purchases.

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