This Christmas was supposed to be a bit of a coming out party for wearables. It was the year when people were going to buy up smartwatches and fitness bands in their thousands, seeding the marketplace for future wearable adoption. Apple understandably wanted to get in on these wearable sales, but announced that its Apple Watch wouldn’t be coming out until early 2015, and it looks like that might have led a few people to hold off buying a wearable so they could pick up an Apple Watch instead.
This despite the fact that Apple’s smartwatch has very little in the way of new features and will require charging every single day, unlike many of its competitors. But then again, a lack of innovation, a focus on style over substance and the blind purchasing by its rabid fan base has been Apple’s bread and butter for years now. It should be no surprise that it extends to wearables.
But it’s this devotion that is going to have a negative impact on the wearable industry this Christmas, according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which recently surveyed 1,000 consumers to see how they feel about wearables and whether they’d be interested in buying one this Christmas.
Of those asked, 59 per cent said they were more excited by Apple’s wearable than anything else. Other top scorers were Google’s Glass, Microsoft’s fitness band, the Nike Fuel Band (despite no longer being for sale) and Amazon hardware, suggesting that the big players in wearables are likely to be those that come from the big hardware makers with established audiences and hardware acceptance.
In short, Apple is likely to cause people to hold back this Christmas:
“I think the year to watch [for wearables to go mainstream], from my standpoint, is next year,” said Mike Pegler, principal at PWC, Pegler (via Washington Post).
Of course though, there are still plenty of wearables to buy this Christmas and they will sell, with Microsoft’s new Band technology likely to get a few people to drop down the £120 or so to own one. However Apple’s smartwatch is likely to draw a lot of interest and therefore intended money that will need to be earmarked, since on top of being a little underpowered compared to the competition, it’s more expensive too.
But of course, that’s never stopped Apple selling lots of hardware in the past, so this is nothing new.