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Gartner: Not Time Yet For Smart Watches

STAMFORD, CONN. – Smart watches might be media darlings right now, but a Gartner report states the devices won’t have a major impact on holiday sales this year.

Barriers to higher consumer acceptance include low interest, high price and poor designs, Gartner said. As a result, the nascent wearable technology has not been able to truly create its own niche and lacks a clear value proposition, the company said.

For the holidays, therefore, consumers will spend more on tablets, fitness bands and other types of portable technology, Gartner said.

Annette Zimmermann, Gartner’s principal research analyst, called the smart watches brought to market so far uninspired in design. She also said a dearth of apps and features are available for use with the devices.

“As a result, Gartner predicts that wearable devices will remain a companion to mobile phones at least through 2017, with less than 1 percent of premium phone users opting to replace their phone with a combination of a wearable device and a tablet,” Zimmermann said.

On the bright side, Zimmerman pointed out that smart watches have the potential to provide a convenience factor that should interest consumers, but so far this has not come to fruition. “Users expect more than just more convenience from a new product category that claims to be innovative and priced at $200 to $300,” Zimmermann said.