Demand for smart, connected wearable products has slowed significantly since January after peaking post holidays and registering fast year-over-year volume growth since 2014, according to new market research from Argus Insights.
Consumers lost interest in smart wearables after the 2014 holiday season, according to Argus Insights’ ¨State of U.S. Wearables Market – Jan. 2014-Present,¨ which drew on input from some 328,000 consumers. Demand increased steadily thereafter, reaching a peak in January 2015 when it was four times its year-ago level. Introduction of new products – fitness bands, smartwatches, smart glasses, and other smart wearables equipped with wireless sensors – and entry of new market players fueled strong growth in demand for smart wearables leading up to the peak.
But demand has slowed since.
Demand for Wearables
Apple Watch attracted consumer interest and drew it away from Fitbit and other smart wearables upon its launch in September 2014. Subsequently interest in Fitbit devices resumed and grew following Apple Watch’s introduction.
Fitbit and other smart wearables manufacturers experienced strong demand for their products and posted strong sales during the 2014 holiday period. Having raised capital through an IPO, consumer interest in Fitbit’s products has continued to grow, according to Argus Insights.
While consumer buzz surrounding Fitbit has been very high, consumer satisfaction with its smart wearables is waning while that for Apple is rising fast. Furthermore, consumers have reported greater satisfaction from smartwatches from major brands Motorola and LG than from fitness bands.
“Our analysis of review volume for the wearables market correlates directly with unit sales volume, and we have seen a significant slowing in consumer demand for both wearables in general and fitness bands in particular,” said Argus Insights founder and CEO John Feland in a press release.
“Consumers expect their wearables to do more than simply count steps, just as they expect to do more than just make phone calls with their handsets. It is clear that as the Apple Watch, the Moto 360, and the LG Watch Urbane outperform fitness bands in the hearts of consumers, Fitbit and others in this category will need to add more to their offerings to keep consumers engaged and coming back for more.”