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back to article Smartwatch sales off to a very slow start

Singapore is home to just over five million people and market-watcher GfK says 94 per cent of whom bought a PC or accessories in the last two years and 95 per cent of whom acquired telecommunications technologies in the same period. But the first count of smartwatch sales in the island nation, conducted by market-watcher GfK, …

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In time they will sell

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Possibly, but for the moment things are not really running like clockwork..

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These puns are starting to tick me off.

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Another wind-up story.

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Anonymous Coward

Low sales?

Something to do with the length of time they last between charges?

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But how many years did it take for web-enabled phones and tablet computers to get over the hump?

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Nope didn't get that pun?

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CM

People can't face these new watches.

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"Low sales?...Something to do with the length of time they last between charges?"

I doubt it. People put up with the dismal battery life of smartphones. The thing about smartwatches is they do very little that is useful or unique, and I think a critical problem makers have overlooked is that smartwatches are an ancilliary device - without a smartphone most smartwatches are completely useless.

When you've got two devices with short lived batteries, one of which can function on its own, one that can't and also doesn't actually do much, where does the pain get felt? By the smartwatch left in a drawer. On the other hand my Seiko 5 needs no batteries, is self winding, doesn't depend on a nearby smartphone, looks smart but discrete and is acceptably accurate. Even if I had a smartwatch, which would get worn?

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Jewellery

You hit the nail on the head, Ledswinger, when you say your Seiko looks smart.

Some people wear watches to tell the time, some wear them as jewellery, most people a bit of both. Unless smartwatches improve enormously and get some true functionality of their own, they'll only ever appeal to anorak-wearing geeks and nerds.

Remember "digital watches" of the 1970s? Even the geeks and nerds were soon too embarrassed to wear those.

I can see them possibly (perhaps) catching on as sports accessories, but no more.

But we'll wait and see IF the Apple rumours are true. Apple have form when it comes to redefining markets.

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Anonymous Coward

Nobody wants to constantly recharge the battery on a watch

Until there is a smartwatch that can run for a long time on one of those 3V lithium cell button batteries, nobody is going to care.

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I have a Sony Smartwatch 2, had it for a couple of months before I stopped using it.

The charge factor isnt an issue, unless you go out into the jungle. The charge on mine normally lasts a week, which I think it pretty good.

However, my phone runs out of battery very quickly - once the phone is dead you cannot use all of the features on the smart watch.

I do not know the state of affairs with the Samsung smartwatch, I know it is at least three times the price of the Sony offering.

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+1 for the battery

Timex, reintroduce the Ironman USB (and give it bluetooth), you were ahead of your time.

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Not surprising

A "dumb" watch lasts for years on a battery and has an always-on display. It also doesn't care what brand phone you have in your pocket, or even if you have a phone.

While it's too much to expect a smart watch to last for years on a charge, it is not acceptable that it only lasts days. Nor is it acceptable that you have turn the display on to see the time. Or that smart watches are tied to particular handsets or phone operating systems.

I think once a device appears that overcomes these issues it will sell a lot better than they do now.

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Devil

The reason for low sales...

is Apple hasn't released one that works and that people want, so nothing for the Korean company to copy. They are not good at coming up with a good design on their own.

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My 2 pence worth

Battery: I don't this as that bad a problem. I usually wear my watch in bed, but I think most people take theirs off at night. So I don't see why it would be a problem, with a nice stand - and I'm sure I would get used to charging it overnight in a very short time. So it needs a battery that can stand a long weekend without you needing to take your charger with you. And I guess, intelligent software that turns it into a watch (disabling the smart features), that'll last for a couple of days on the remaining 10% of battery.

Hugeness: They all seem to be bleedin' enormous. Then again, some people will strap a Rolex the size of a dinner plate to their wrist.

Hideousness: Fugly is the word, I believe. I find a lot of the Rolexes and Omegas of this world pretty hideous as well - but in an over-the-top-blingtasic sort of a way. Most of the smartwatches look really plasticky and nasty, which added to their enormous hugeousity makes them very noticeable. I once saw a mock-up of one of the supposed watches. You know the usual fake new iPhone from Digitimes sort of thing. Anyway, it was a huge aluminium bracelet with screen on. It looked so much better than anything I've yet seen. If you've got to be huge, you may as well make a feature of it.

Function: I guess this is the same problem of hugeness and re-charging. The battery tech isn't yet up to the job. The compromises of battery and screen size seem to make it a fun toy only. I guess it's useful to some people to do a bit of inbox sorting while on a crowded train. But really, if you've got the space to operate your watch with the other hand, you've got theh space to hold your phone and do it. Therefore I really can't see the smartwatch moving out of the realm of useful geek toy. Then again, I was an enthusiastic early iPad buyer, who thought they'd never take off as a mass market thing either - as I noticed no increase in interest between my iPad and my previous tablet PC. People liked both, but didn't see the point for themselves. Now loads of people have tablets. So what do I know?

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Re: My 2 pence worth

Spot on != Spartacus

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Coffee/keyboard

I don't bother with watches anymore

I have a phone with the time on, a clock inside the car, on the office wall, on the bottom right of the computer screen. I see no need for a watch and I think they are obsolete.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I don't bother with watches anymore

http://www.statisticbrain.com/wrist-watch-industry-statistics/

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-watchs-time-isnt-up-2013-07-01

"I think they are obsolete."

Apparently you are wrong

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: I don't bother with watches anymore

I still think they are obsolete, obviously its my opinion so :P

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My timex is resistant to 200m, has temperature, altitude, and a compass.

While any phone can do compass these days, I've not seen the other features on a mobile. Let alone barometer.

So a smartwatch needs to start with the above, and provide integration with a phone.

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Meh

Another solution in search of a problem

Sales are low simply because nobody really wants one. Done! What's so hard to understand? They won't sell until they offer enough usefulness for a good price.

Smartphone screens are barely large enough for most tasks already (which also drives tablet usage). The tiny screen of a smartwatch is horrible for most of what people use tablets and smartphones for. Try navigating with one, watching a video, reading a full-page document. The so-called convenience of having it glommed to your arm isn't worth the things you lose in that tiny form factor.

It's typical of tech companies these days. Wow, we invented something to make us rich! Why isn't everyone buying it? It's the future, you HAVE to buy it even if the old skull widgets still work fine! Gah...

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I looked at getting a smart watch. I was underwhelmed when I looked into what they could actually do. The things are essentially just watches unless paired to a smart phone, and if I'm carrying a phone anyway why would I not use its bigger screen to check the weather and my text messages? I could be convinced to buy one, maybe, if it were a phone in and of itself, but as just a second screen for the phone I'm already carrying? No thank you, not worth it.

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They don't do much.

They don't do anything that the phone in my pocket doesn't already do.

They use bluetooth, to communicate with my phone. I leave the bluetooth shutoff on my phone (S4), as it drastically reduces the battery life, when I turn it on.

For the record, I own and wear over a dozen watches. (Worn one at a time.) :)

I won't be buying a smart watch any time soon.

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Megaphone

Wrong Direction

Yes it's nice having a thing on one's wrist (well it is for some) that has a subset of the functions of the phone that's usually not more than an arm's strech away.

The phone can now do most things that I need to do on the move but there is one thing that the phone isn't good at and that's taking notes. I still have a small notebook and pen in my pocket to take down notes, to scribble a diagram and to generally jot things down on the spur of the moment.

Of all of the other tasks that the phone can do it can do it well. It has a good calendar function which works well but it can't yet take notes in the way that pen and paper can.

Going for the smartwatch option is, in my opinion, going utterly the wrong way. I can't come up with a reason why I would wish to be shackled into something like this for little or no benefit.

Just, please, give me something that replaces a notebook and pen.

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