IDC Research Shows How Buyer Preferences Influencing Wearable Designs

1 - IDC Research Shows How Buyer Preferences Influencing Wearable Designs
2 - Wearable Users Focus on Fitness
3 - Wearables Are Getting Processing Power
4 - Long Battery Life Is a Priority
5 - Buyers, Designers Favoring Traditional Watch Designs
6 - Waterproofing Becomes Important
7 - GPS Offers Mobility
8 - Where Are the Onboard App Stores?
9 - Wearable Owners Want Wireless Connectivity
10 - Better Pricing Is Welcome
11 - Simplicity Means More
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IDC Research Shows How Buyer Preferences Influencing Wearable Designs

The wearables market is growing, according to data from research firm IDC. The market researcher estimates people will spend billions of dollars annually on everything from smartwatches to fitness trackers. But in order to attract customers, companies are modifying their device design and go-to-market strategies to focus the latest emerging trends in the wearables market. Market research data suggests that people are trying to break away from their smartphones as often as possible. The research also indicates that basic wearables, which have a bare minimum of functions and keep prices low, are far more appealing now to buyers than advanced devices with many features and high prices. The fledgling wearables market is in a state of flux, and this slide show will discuss in more detail the trends that are influencing smartwatch buying decisions in the next few years.

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Wearable Users Focus on Fitness

The data clearly shows that wearable customers are increasingly turning their attention to activity trackers instead of smartwatches. It turns out that customers are more interested in wearing electronics that help to keep them healthy rather than just tell the time and play music.

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Wearables Are Getting Processing Power

Higher-end components are expected to make their way to wearables in the coming years. Companies like Qualcomm and others are developing chips that are more powerful, efficient and smaller, allowing for slimmer case designs. Wearables will become far more powerful as time goes on.

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Long Battery Life Is a Priority

Battery life is a major concern for most wearable owners. And although devices can last quite a while on a single charge, depending on the wearable, device makers will increase battery life. The wearables will have more power-efficient components. Software advancements should also improve battery life. And since the devices are worn outside, there’s a chance that they could use alternative energy sources to keep on ticking.

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Buyers, Designers Favoring Traditional Watch Designs

On the design front, rectangular cases appear to be stepping aside. In their place, companies are opting for designs that make them look quite similar to traditional watches with round faces. They also come with more traditional materials, like metal and leather, which make them feel more like high-quality watches of old than low-end plastic devices.

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Waterproofing Becomes Important

Since wearable owners are seeking fitness with their devices, it’s perhaps no surprise that companies are making their products waterproof and capable of being worn while swimming. In the coming years, the number of devices that aren’t waterproof is expected to shrink considerably.

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GPS Offers Mobility

Device makers are investing heavily in GPS chips for their wearables. Again, wearable buyers want to be mobile and improve their fitness. Having GPS helps them on a hike and while running around town. It’s a feature many buyers now expect from a wearable.

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Where Are the Onboard App Stores?

With the release of Android Wear 2.0, Google offered an onboard app marketplace, which was an important development. Users don’t want to rely upon a smartphone to get the full wearable experience. They want to untether their wearables from their smartphones, and access to an onboard app store selling wearable applications gets them closer to that goal.

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Wearable Owners Want Wireless Connectivity

Wireless carrier connectivity is also important if wearable users are to break away from their smartphones. Wireless connectivity lets users leave their smartphones at home while still being able to access the internet, answer calls, send text messages and more. It’s a must-have feature for many users.

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Better Pricing Is Welcome

To their credit, wearable makers are becoming more realistic in their pricing. The companies that were once pushing $1,000 or much more for their devices are now realizing that customers really only want to spend a few hundred dollars on their products. Surprisingly, Apple is one of the companies that has thought seriously about pricing and replaced its expensive Gold Edition Apple Watch with a ceramic version that’s a fraction of the high-end model's price.

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Simplicity Means More

Research firm IDC said in a statement in December that it’s seeing a notable trend developing in the wearables market: Customers are more interested in simple devices that deliver barebones functionality than sophisticated devices with all the bells and whistles. So-called “basic wearables” are expected to grow in popularity in the coming years, meaning “smartwatches” might be more appealing as “semi-smartwatches.”