Oh, Gear: Smartwatches won't dominate holidays, analyst says

In a stunning announcement, Gartner says that consumers aren't quite convinced that smartwatches deserve their holiday dollars.

Not the thing to impress your loved ones with this year? Brian Bennett/CNET

I know there are people out there who don't want to embarrass themselves over the holiday season.

It's all right if they slur their words and sidle up to people who aren't their spouses.

But woe betide anyone who buys the wrong electronic gift. This is a shame not easily overcome, if ever.

So the fine and prescient analysts at Gartner would like you to urgently know that smartwatches will not be a big hit this year.

You might already have had some sense that this might be the case. You might not, in fact, have ever seen anyone wearing one.

Gartner, though, wants to be clear that "premium pricing paired with an unclear value proposition will steer consumers' spending toward tablets and fitness bands, leading to lackluster sales of smartwatches this holiday season."

In essence, people won't buy smartwatches because people have no idea what they're supposed to do with them.

There is more dire news, however. According to Annette Zimmermann, principal research analyst at Gartner: "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."

Zimmerman then goes on to assail the category, citing price and design. As well as, goodness, low consumer interest. Given that you're not interested in smartwatches, you knew that already.

It seems, then, that the Samsung Galaxy Gear and its ilk are not the items to aspire to this year. Indeed, Gartner specifically pooh-poohed the Gear for its "uninspired" design.

This might bring some clarity to the current confusion as to whether 50,000 of these watches have been sold, or perhaps 800,000.

My own analysis (aka guess) is that, now Gartner has spoken, the numbers will veer toward the former rather than the latter.

 

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