apple iwatchCustomer satisfaction with wearables is a mixed bag, according to new research from Argus Insights. Early adopters are much happier with wearables’ hardware as compared to the mobile apps and network software, researchers said.

App and network software issues are critical challenges that wearable tech vendors need to address, and quickly, for the market to develop and grow, Argus Insights’ CEO John Feland highlighted in a press release. “Clearly the app experience is affecting the long term efficacy of the wearables market. Without interpretation of the data to inspire action and promote change, devices become dispensable and land in the sock drawer.”

Satisfaction with Wearables
The variety of connected wearable technology continues to expand, now encompassing shirts, shoes, hats and even tattoos. Analyzing more than 136,000 consumer reviews from November 2015 – February, Argus found Jawbone Up’s ¨all in one¨ app rated highest among wearable apps, although users did express dissatisfaction with Jawbone’s bands.

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Nike’s wearable tech apps also scored high on Argus’s proprietary ¨Consumer Delight¨ metric. In contrast, apps from Fitbit, Samsung and other vendors were consistently low. Trouble syncing data, apps crashing, and frustration installing apps were the major areas of discontent.

Turning to wearable tech categories, users were happiest with the information available via fitness, calorie tracker and heart rate monitoring apps.

Other key takeaways about consumer satisfaction with wearables include:

  • Wearable devices are becoming more standardized but there is a significant gap between consumer satisfaction with the hardware and the apps;
  • There is a continued need for applications to improve to interpret all the data wearable devices collect;
    Jawbone Up is particularly well-liked because it makes personal data actionable;
  • Companies must integrate all collected personal data in a simple, understandable way and inspire users to take specific actions based on this information.

Argus Insights’, ¨Examining the Wearables Ecosystem: Roadblocks in Personal Data Interpretation¨ report is available free with registration on the market research company’s website:

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