Smartwatches have managed to outdo the fitness tracker with additional bells and whistles, however, pain points tied to purchase justification, coupled with a lack of increasing functionality and capabilities have led to a slump, with such devices failing to gain traction in the marketplace beyond early adopters. In fact, YOY category growth projections from 2015 to 2016 fell a staggering 35% from original estimations, and smartwatch total shipments decreased 51.6%.
Yet, while the category is slowing for many companies in this space, those experiencing growth have discovered that having a clear use-case, rather than communicating the product as multi-modal, is allowing them to succeed. New device manufacturers who can compete at a more consumer-friendly price point with focused messaging on a use-case are poised to thrive. Due to the low adoption rate up until this point, there remains abundant opportunity for new and existing players to capture mind and market share.
As health and fitness represent a dominant segment of the smartwatch market, technological and development advances within this area offer the potential for an increasing appetite of demand within the healthcare segment. An additional area of opportunity lies with the young, female demographic, as by 2018, more users of wearables will skew toward females over males. Catering messaging to this audience will be key.
Finally, there is ample opportunity to further educate consumers on the need for a wearable. As feature overlap with a smartphone is evident, touting the benefits of a sleeker, smaller and more fashionable deliverer of such would prove beneficial.