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Gartner: ‘Uninspiring’ design and features will mean poor smartwatch sales this Christmas

Smartwatches are unlikely to feature on many people's Christmas lists this year as they are "uninspiring in terms of design, available apps and features", according to research firm Gartner.

The research released yesterday asserted that wearable devices such as smartwatches were unlikely to dominate consumer spending until they offer better value, and will remain as a companion device to mobile phones until at least 2017.

"Samsung and other well-known vendors have recently entered the smartwatch space, yet the products we have seen so far have been rather uninspiring in terms of design, available apps and features," said Gartner analyst Annette Zimmermann.

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

Gartner claim that despite the current hype surrounding smartwatches, consumers are more likely to opt for devices like tablets and fitness bands this festive season.

"Users expect more than just more convenience from a new product category that claims to be innovative and priced at $200 to $300," said Zimmermann. "The same price will fund basic tablets with a good feature set. For the coming holiday season users are more likely to pick the basic tablet option rather than a smart watch as the value proposition is clearer."

Recent sales figures from the first few months since the release of Samsung's Galaxy Gear watch support this claim that such devices have so far failed to win over mass market interest.