Smart watch hype doesn't add up to sales

Smart watch hype doesn't add up to sales

About 10 per cent of smart watch users have stopped using their device

The hype surrounding smart watches hasn't had the same effect on sales, with about 205,000 smart watches sold in Australia in the first half of 2015, according to analyst firm, Telsyte.

Apple held top market share in the category retaining 64 per cent, beating both Samsung and LG. The analyst firm indicated that Apple’s leadership in this arena was due to the lack of new Android compatible smart watches and Apple sales impacted by its premium pricing.

Telsyte managing director, Foad Fadaghi, said it was difficult to see mass market consumers paying as much as premium tablets or smart phones for wearable technology that does not have significant new or unique features.

The Telsyte Australian Smartphone and Wearable Devices Market Study 2015 - 2019, found the buzz around smart watches has softened and a lack of killer apps was holding back demand.

It indicated that 10 per cent of smart watch users have stopped using their device.

To help increase smart watch sales, Telsyte expects that Apple will bring in a lower cost watch option to help boost sales.

But this is not the case with smart wristbands sold by Fitbit and Garmin, which have grown up to 30 per cent on the second of half of 2014. The analyst firm estimates there are about two million smart wristband users in Australia.

“In some ways the smart watch market can be classified as the premium part of the smart wrist wearable market,” Fadaghi said.

Research indicated 17.2 million Australians (72 per cent) own a smartphone, with about 3.7 million smartphones sold during the first half of 2015 - a six percent decrease from a year ago, showing that the market is reaching maturity. There were 450,000 new smartphone users added during the same period.

According to the study, sales of Android-based smartphones pulled ahead of the iPhone in the first half of 2015, with 54 per cent share and the iPhone achieving 41 per cent.

Windows phone-based devices were at five per cent. Telsyte said its slow performance was due to the lack of new handsets and Microsoft’s transition away from the Nokia brand.

Sony overtook HTC in the first half of 2015 to become the third largest smartphone vendor in Australia, behind Apple and Samsung.

About 4.5 million smartphones will be sold in second half of 2015, Telsyte said. Pricing and brand were singled out as the two main factors consumers take into consideration when picking a device, as well as durability and resistance.

Read more: Sink or swim: The right way to use your waterproof smartphone

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