Menu
Wearable shipments skyrocket, but user apathy still spells trouble for manufacturers

Wearable shipments skyrocket, but user apathy still spells trouble for manufacturers

Shipments of smartwatches and activity trackers increased 684 percent since last year, says research group Canalys.

The just-recalled Fitbit Force illustrates all that’s inept in modern-day wearables.

The just-recalled Fitbit Force illustrates all that’s inept in modern-day wearables.

While shipments of smartwatches and fitness bands have ballooned over the last year, not everyone's falling in love with wearables quite yet.

Wearable shipments increased 684 percent from the first half of 2013 to the first half of this year, according to Canalys. Shipments of basic fitness bands reached roughly 4.4 million units, while smartwatch shipments hit roughly 1.8 million units.

Canalys said growth in fitness bands--led by Fitbit and Jawbone--was aided by stronger relationships with retailers internationally. Smartwatches, meanwhile, were practically non-existent a year ago, so their numbers could only go up. Samsung's Gear series has since led the way in shipments, followed by Pebble and Sony's SmartWatch. (Samsung's Gear Live and LG's G Watch, both of which run Android Wear, won't be counted until Canalys' next report.)

But is anyone actually wearing these things? A recent survey by Endeavor Partners found that wearable makers are still struggling with attrition, as a third of users stopped wearing their smartwatches and fitness bands sometime after six months of purchase. That's not as bad as Endeavor's previous survey--which found that 44 percent of users were leaving their wearables behind--but it still shows how a significant segment of users can quickly lose interest.

Canalys alluded to this phenomenon in its own report, noting that Samsung in particular "must improve device sell-through" or else it will have to use deep discounts to move its inventory, though the research group didn't provide any figures to back up this claim. "The challenge all vendors face is keeping consumers engaged with the devices, 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Canalys analyst Chris Jones said in a statement.

Another recent survey by Chegg, a student resource website, found plenty of wearable skepticism among college students. Only 14 percent of those surveyed said they'd pay more than $150 for a wearable device, and 19 percent said they're not interested at all. (On the bright side, at least for Apple, 48 percent of students said they might check out the rumored iWatch , even though no one has a clue what the device will look like.)

In other words, wearable shipments are growing because there are more devices with wider availability, but this is still just the beginning for wearables. As Canalys points out, many vendors are waiting to see what Apple will do, and the first movers will come under major pressure if the iWatch does materialize. Until then, a lot of people are still skeptical, and even some current users are letting their devices collect dust.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sonyconsumer electronicsgadgetsfitnessjawboneCanalysFitbitsmartwatchesgalaxy gearWearablesPebble

Featured

Slideshows

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the annual Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months.

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2019
Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards

Reseller News hosted its second annual alumnae breakfast for the Women in ICT Awards in New Zealand, designed to showcase the leading female leaders in the industry. Held at The Cordis in Auckland, attendees came together to hear inspiring keynotes and panel discussions, alongside high-level networking among peers. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News hosts alumnae breakfast for Women in ICT Awards
Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners

Reseller News honoured the standout players of the New Zealand channel in front of more than 480 technology leaders in Auckland on 23 October, recognising the achievements of top partners, emerging entrants and innovative start-ups.

Reseller News Innovation Awards 2019: meet the winners
Show Comments