Consumers have dreamed about smartwatches ever since Dick Tracy flashed his Two-Way Wrist Radio in 1946. The dream became reality 68 years later with the launch of the first true smartwatches in late 2013 and again in the fall of 2014 when Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch, introducing it as “the next chapter in Apple’s story.”
In the months leading up to the commercial release, reporters, analysts and consumers alike eagerly anticipated the Apple Watch, expecting it to be the next big thing for both Apple and the dawn of the smartwatch industry. This belief was further fueled when Time listed the Apple Watch as of the 25 Best Inventions of 2014.
But despite the short-lived gold rush and initial excitement for the Apple Watch, just two years later the smartwatch market hasn’t met these lofty expectations, as the industry is experiencing a disappointing decline. The 80 million smartwatches forecasted for 2016 is now a more modest 50.4 million, and projections for 2017 have dropped from 150 million down to just 67 million (Gartner).
So what happened? Why haven’t we seen the “tipping point” promised just two years ago? What will it take to get there?
More importantly, why aren’t more consumers connecting with smartwatches?