Top 5 reasons why smartwatches could still catch on

Some say the smartwatch market is in decline, but here are five reasons why Tom Merritt thinks it still has a chance.

Why smartwatches could still catch on

Several Android smartwatch makers decided to hold off releasing smartwatches at the end of 2016. That led some people to declare the decline of smart watches.

But maybe the smartwatch industry is just misunderstood. It's different than phones, tablets and laptops. Here are five reasons smartwatches shouldn't be written off yet:

1. It's a smaller market. Everybody used phones of some kind, not everybody carries a watch. That doesn't mean the market is too small, or there wouldn't be a watch industry to begin with. But it means numbers will start smaller and won't grow as large.

2. The software hasn't caught up yet. Smartwatches are best at things that don't require your fingers, like looking or speaking. As gesture detection, voice recognition and machine learning improve, so will watches.

3. The hardware hasn't caught up yet. Components like data modems and sensors still need to shrink. And batteries need to get higher capacity and smaller so you don't have to recharge as often.

4. Fitness over fashion. You're competing with the Fitbit, not Rolex, so smartwatch makers like Apple are starting to emphasize fitness applications over high-fashion appeal. Someday expensive fashion-oriented watches will be smart but for now fitness is the killer app.

5. Realize watches have a slower adoption model. People buy watches for life. Yes, tech can accelerate adoption as it did with smartphones, but even early adopters won't want to buy a new smartwatch every year which means growth will rise over a longer period.

Also see:
Wearable Technology: It's here to stay, but it has a dark side
Smartwatches and fitness trackers continue to spread, powered by professionals
Smartwatch sales to hit $17.8 billion in 2020, but business use lagging
Why smartwatch sales are experiencing a 'nuclear winter'