Smartwatch owners use their phone LESS because wearable devices are ‘easier to check’

Apple's iWatch
Apple's iWatch

Smartwatch users look at their smartphones LESS when because they have a wearable device, new research has found.

Critics have previously claimed that the watches are ‘pointless’ because they carry out all the same functions as the handsets.

But researchers have now discovered that smartphone wearers prefer the devices as they are able to check notifications with a quick glance  – far faster than taking their phone from their pockets or bags.

Apple's iWatch
Apple’s iWatch

UK Digital research specialist Clicked made the findings its latest wave of research looking in detail at UK attitudes towards wearable technology.

Clicked Managing Director and founder Stephen Mellor said: ‘Smartwatch usage has not replaced the smartphone and we didn’t expect it to.

‘But we’ve heard how the smartphone has remained in the handbag all day since the smartwatch was acquired.

‘Many users tell us that the smartwatch compliments the smartphone, providing them with greater convenience and security.’

The research project used over 2,000 quantitative interviews and qualitative in-situ depth interviews to provide an authoritative voice on the UK consumers’ attitudes towards the category.

The latest wave of research has helped to answer one of businesses burning issues: Why do consumers need a Smartwatch, when they already have Smartphone that performs all of the functions adequately?

Clicked’s research suggests that behaviour of the smartwatch user is evolving, indicating a divergence in the role of a smartwatch vs. a smartphone. A big indicator of this divergence is that users of smartwatches look at their smartphones less often – the convenience of glancing at the wrist for notifications means they are spending less time looking at the smartphone screen.

This suggests that the role of the smartwatch in providing greater convenience is a core issue for device manufacturers to communicate, but more importantly, it suggests a behaviour change in usage of smartphones.

This notion of convenience is core to the role of Smartwatches and Activity Trackers. Clicked research suggests that with time pressured lives so common, the idea of wearable devices providing meaningful benefits is becoming a more interesting proposition for UK people.

Stephen added: ‘There’s much more knowledge among consumers than 6 months ago. Of the 39 benefits (apps) of owning a wearable device that we track, we’ve seen rises in extreme interest for 37 of them.

‘We attribute this to an increase in awareness, knowledge and excitement within the category.’

But Stephen said that this increased knowledge has resulted in an increase in resistance to purchasing a wearable device. Barriers to purchasing wearables have risen since the last wave 6 months ago, with worries about data access and security breaches increasing for potential owners.


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