Growth Trajectory for Wearable Devices Ticks Downward

World of Wearables Takes an Ugly HitThere will be many small packages under holiday trees across the U.S. — but they’re less likely to contain wearable devices like smart watches and Fitbits, according to new analysis.

In fact, eMarketer downgraded its earlier estimate, indicating that though this category was expected to be robust, “usage has not expanded beyond early adopters.”

The divergence between the earlier estimate In October, 2015 and the recent one is dramatic.

“(We) expected usage among U.S. adults to grow more than 60 percent this year,” notes eMarketer. “But according to our latest forecast, it will only grow 24.7 percent, as smart watches in particular have failed to impress consumers.”

In 2016, about 39.5 million U.S. adults will sport a wearable device (with internet connectivity) at least once a month, far less than the 63.7 million forecast in previous months.

“Before Apple launched its Watch, fitness trackers dominated the wearables space, and consumer surveys consistently found that tracking health and fitness was the main reason people were interested in wearables,” said eMarketer analyst Cathy Boyle. “They also reported high price-sensitivity. Without a clear use case for smart watches—which have more features than fitness trackers, but significant overlap with smartphone functionality—the more sophisticated, expensive devices have not caught on as quickly as expected.”

To review the post from eMarketer in full, click here.