Jul 13, 2015 01:58 AM EDT
Market analysts Slice Intelligence released figures last week that the Apple Watch experienced a 90% fall in sales. While Apple won’t release the sales figures to debunk or confirm this report, this news was met with varying reactions across the tech sphere.
The first is that while the sales may have fallen, the Apple Watch may still have eaten a large chunk of the previous, undisputed, king of smartwatches, the Kickstarter baby Pebble. More than that, these figures actually cast a shadow on what may not have properly gotten off the ground: Android Wear.
Given the fact that Android fans around the world put so much stock on the new generation of wearable tech, this comes as possibly disheartening news.
All Android Wear watches combined have shipped around 720,000 units in 2014, while the Apple Watch was able to garner around 957,000 units in pre-order estimates alone. However, the fall that Slice Intelligence described was the massive drop from the daily US sales of 35,000 Apple Watches in April 2015 to a dismal 2,500 units a day this July. This is an indicator that end-users may not be ready for smartwatches, just yet.
Even with the Pebble breaking new ground with its $10.3 Million funding success on Kickstarter, as well as the milestone of selling its 1 millionth smartwatch on December 31, 2014, these recent stats still show that the smartwatch market may have gotten too saturated, too soon.
There may be a few factors why the market of early adopters for the smartwatch seems to have reached its saturation point:
• The market has forked, because the different smartwatches serve different purposes: The Fitbit is for health and fitness buffs, so those who are looking to use their smartwatches as a fitness tracker choose Fitbit over the other offerings. The Pebble, on the other hand, has a sophisticated, well-developed, cross-platform system compared to the Apple Watch. Thus, Pebble loyalists may have chosen the Pebble over the Apple Watch or Android Wear, because they prefer the cross-platform setup.
• The smartwatch does NOT replace the smartphone. Some of the users may have expected more than a phone extension, so seeing the smartwatch’s limited functionality may have discouraged prospective new users from taking up the device.
• The market is veering towards a greater level of disconnection from electronics. There’s a new movement to “disconnect” or to consciously be less addicted to one’s electronics. The smartwatch works against this “cause,” and maybe that could be a factor why consumers opt to keep the smartwatches on the shelves instead of snapping them up.
Maybe it’s too early for the technology; maybe the geeks who want wearable tech have snapped up their smartwatch of choice and aren’t looking to buy another one soon. Maybe a few years from now, the market will have better reasons to take up smartwatches. In any case, the smartwatch hype seems to have reached a plateau, for now.
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