Smartwatch Ownership to Reach 9% of U.S. Population by 2016
The watch need not be a replacement for the phone, but rather an intermediary that allows users to glance at information, rather than read it.Smartwatch ownership in America is forecast to reach 9 percent of the adult population by 2016, closing in on activity trackers, according to IT research specialist NPD Group’s Connected Intelligence Wearables report. The survey of 5,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and over predicts that by the end of 2016 activity-tracker ownership will have peaked at 32 million after growing significantly for four years. "There’s always the risk that the smartwatch will not become a mainstream product, but the level of interest and intent to purchase suggests that this is a significant new product that will grow and evolve," Eddie Hold, vice president of NPD Group's Connected Intelligence practice area, told eWEEK. "But the evolution depends on a mind-set change by the consumer." Hold explained the watch is not a replacement for the phone, but rather it’s an intermediary that allows us to glance at information, rather than read it.
"As such, some users that buy into this device will not find it useful and will stop using the product," he said. "Currently, we see that almost 50 percent of owners stop using the smartwatch in the first six months. So the product needs to be better at providing useful information, and users need to be realistic about what it will do for them."