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Who is Keeping Smartwatches Alive? | SignalWire

Who is Keeping Smartwatches Alive?

Smartwatches were on everyone’s mind when they came out in 2014…but since then their market numbers have been inconsistent to say the least.

When they were first advertised, the features sounded cool! Technology for your wrist??? Count me in. With a smartwatch you have access to the newest features in this smart world of ours. You can tell time, receive notifications, send text messages, play games, video chat, track your health, call an Uber, order food, keep track of your calendar, and….

Wait a minute.

A smartwatch is starting to sound exactly like a cellphone…but smaller. Consumers were initially caught up in the fad of smartwatches, but they quickly began to lose their luster in the tech market. Smartwatches simply lack functionality.

Some companies are doubling down on smartwatches while others like Moto, Pebble, and Martian are pulling them from production.

Apple watches are doing well (making up 40% of all smartwatch sales) because of their consumers’ brand loyalty and the company’s signature compatibility between their products. Other brands, like Samsung and Android, are not doing as well.

Smartwatches aren’t introducing any new or groundbreaking features and those that do are noticeably clunkier. App developers aren’t interested in making new apps for smartwatches simply because not enough people want them. Market research shows that people are interested in two things: notifications and fitness tracking.

So if smartwatches are such a fail…how are they still on the market?

It turns out that the fashion industry loves smartwatches.

People don’t need watches to tell time when everyone has a cellphone. People wear watches because they want to. In the fashion world, especially for business men and women, your watch says something about who you are and how you present yourself to the world. People wear watches to make a statement, not for functionality.

So instead of convincing tech enthusiasts to wear watches, Android Wear is pivoting and convincing watch enthusiasts to wear technology. They’ve partnered with popular fashion brands, like Kate Spade, Fossil, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, Guess, Diesel, and Movado, to create designer smartwatches and flood the market with different shapes and styles of wearables. You can even change the watch face to match the color of your outfit.

The smart features of these watches are marketed as a bonus rather than being their own devices. Many of these wearables are hybrids and are only equipped with bluetooth and fitness trackers.

This pivot in wearables shows the breadth of our technology revolution. “Tech” is moving away from its own category and starting to blend into our everyday lives and consumption habits.

It’s soon to tell if this pivot in Google’s wearables will be successful but their trends seem to be relying on the brands they are attached to rather than the tech market.