Wearable sales are expected to decline after 2018. Between their high expense, coupled with the expense of other tech devices and with a diminishing market on top of all that, wearables could be dying a slow death. Market analysts predict minor gains in 2018. Anticipated sales are expected to increase by 11.9 percent but after 2018 gains will decrease steadily.
The causes behind declining consumer interest in wearables are primarily financial. Smart watches, for example, cost hundreds of dollars yet they do not match smartphones when it comes to capabilities. As smartphone prices continue to climb upwards of $1,000 for high-end models, tech users do not have enough cash to spend on lesser quality devices.
This brings up another issue and that’s market saturation. As pointed out in Wired report on the impact of wearables, devices like smartwatches never experienced high growth. They were introduced roughly five years ago by various companies. First was Pebble, which has since closed down. Google’s Android watch pre-dated the much hyped and anticipated Apple Watch. As soon as gadget lovers purchased wearables, there was little to no broader consumer interest or adoption. Additionally, once wearables were purchased by their primary users, replacements were not purchased. Unlike phones, that receive a boost in sales after every upgrade, it doesn’t appear that anyone is excited about new smartwatches.
This brings the story back to finance. Apple, Google and others are equipping wearables with more features and capabilities in an attempt to lure more consumers into the products. But these upgrades also increase the device’s price, making them even less attractive.
Fitness trackers like Fitbit continue to sell but not at the same rate as they had when they were first introduced. In addition, their price points are decreasing. Marketers predict that any growth at all in wearables will be found in the low-end fitness tracker market. Once this occurs, higher end companies will likely lose interest in wearables.