Smartwatch buyers look for text alerts, call alerts and caller ID

Smartwatch trends

Majority of prospective smartwatch purchasers looked for text alerts, call alerts and caller ID as the most attractive features of a product, said ABI Research.

One anomaly to this was related to the group that typically purchases watches in the $1,000 to $5,000 range. Consumers in this group identified voice command and control and also fashionable look and feel as the key factors that would influence a purchase decision. Typically voice control falls to the lower end of the scale of all other consumer groups.

Stuart Carlaw, chief research officer, ABI Research, said: “At present, smartwatch vendors are going for somewhat of a scattergun approach to smartwatch design. They are typically over delivering with 12 or more features per product and hoping that three of them stick. This recent research clearly shows that a more targeted, segmented and use-case driven approach to design is needed.”

Earlier, ABI Research said wearable technology will be characterized by the diversity of products, but only the product categories with a clear use-case and therefore target audience will succeed.

ABI Research projects the wearable device sales volumes in 2014 to come from healthcare and sports and activity trackers. While, the commercial launch of several smart glass products, including Google Glass will continue to drive interest in the wearable space, it will not be a significant commercial success in 2014.

Samsung announced new smartwatch at the Mobile World Congress 2014.

Nick Dillon, senior analyst, Ovum, said: “Having updated its smartwatch range less than six months after launching it, Samsung has learnt the hard way that it needs to offer more than just a second screen to appeal to customers. The company is clearly looking to piggyback on the trend for fitness tracking, which is the hottest area in wearables right now. By adding an accelerometer, gyroscope, and heart-rate monitor to the device, Samsung removes the need for a consumer to wear both a smartwatch and a separate tracking band.”

Smartwatch trends

ABI Research said desired pricing is very consistent across all groups. The largest group of respondents identified that they would likely pay $50-$200 for a smartwatch with the group of consumers that identified $200-$500 coming in second place.

“When you couple this price analysis with the price consumers usually spend on a regular watch, it is clear that there may be some opportunity to attract a premium for purchasers that traditionally buy cheaper watches,” Carlaw said.

However, the opposite is true for those that typically spend upwards of $500 for a regular watch where smart features are generally not seen significant value-adds. The majority of consumers that spend over $1,000 for a regular watch indicated that their desired price point for a smartwatch was in the $50-$500 range, said ABI Research.

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