Smartwatches are 'uninspiring' and 'will struggle this Christmas'
Smartwatches will not be a hit with consumers this Christmas because they remain “uninspiring” and do not merit their high price tag, according industry analysts Gartner.
The research found that wearable devices will remain a companion to mobile phones rather than a replacement at least through to 2017, and stated that consumers will spend much more on tablets and fitness bands this holiday season.
Gartner also said that users “expect more than just more convenience” from a product which is priced at $200 (£125) to $300 (£185) and does not yet sufficiently interact with other devices.
The analysis comes after a document leaked last moth revealed that almost a third of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatches are being returned.
According to information released to geek.com, 30pc of smartwatches sold in Best Buy locations in the US are being returned.
Annette Zimmermann, principal research analyst at Gartner, said: “Samsung and other well-known vendors have recently entered the smart watch space, yet the products we’ve seen so far have been rather uninspiring in terms of design, available apps and features.
"Users expect more than just more convenience from a new product category that claims to be innovative and priced at $200 to $300.”
The Gear can be used to make and answer calls and view messages and notifications, but it is only compatible with Samsung smartphones and is "infuriatingly limited".
In his review of the watch Matt Warman, The Telegraph's head of technology, said: "For now, what you can read on the watch is infuriatingly limited: emails and text messages, yes, but not via the Gmail app, which millions of Android users have as their main email service by default.
“This has to get better if this technology is to take off."
Currently the Galaxy Gear only works with the Galaxy Note 3 Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 edition, but its compatibility will soon extend to the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, and Galaxy Note 2.
It will have the new Android 4.3 (Jelly Bean) update, which Samsung says will provide easier text input and updated graphics and multimedia.
On Tuesday it was announced the Pebble smartwatch now has a banking app, which allows users to check their balance and recent transactions with “a glance of the wrist”.