Is 2017 the year in which smartwatches really take off? New developments are under way to tempt you

New Android Wear watches are on the way, while Apple begins discounting some Watch models. All this means that 2017 could be a good time to consider buying a smartwatch if you haven’t already taken the plunge.

Smartwatches were supposed to be the next big thing in the the tech world and huge amounts of money, time and effort have been put into developing them. Yet sales have not taken off as well as they were expected to.

The annual sales of all smartwatches from all manufacturers are in the millions. Selling millions of anything is still a good achievement, but when you compare sales figures with smartphones, which is over a billion, that figure is tiny.

Probably more smartphones are sold in a week than smartwatches sell in a year. It is no wonder watches are a bit of a disappointment.

However, manufacturers are continuing to develop them and they are slowly improving. They are also falling in price too.

Apple slashes Watch prices

Apple has added the Watch to the Refurbished Store, at least in the US. Refurbished items may be old stock, ex display models and unsold items that the company wants to clear out.

Apple sells refurbished items as if they were new, so you get the same packaging, warranty and quality as new kit, but cheaper.

To see these in the Apple Store go to the apple.com home page.

Scroll down to the bottom and click Refurbished and Clearance in the Apple Store section.

Access the Apple Refurbished Store from the Apple home page

Click the Shop Now button under Refurbished Apple Watch.

The Apple Refurbished Store is the place to find cheap Apple goods

There are some highlighted items at the top of the page and these are usually the most interesting deals.

Apple Watch discounts in the Apple Refurbished Store

Scrolling down the page, the biggest discount I could find was 16% off an Apple Watch Series 1, Rose Gold, with Midnight Blue Sport band.

Cheaop Apple Watches in the Apple Refurbished Store

These aren’t huge discounts and most of the refurbished watches are Series 1, but watchOS has been updated since it was originally launched and has several improvements.

Android Wear 2.0 watches

In the past, Google has partnered with third party phone manufacturers to produce the Nexus range of phones that were promoted and marketed by the Alphabet company. It is now doing something similar with smartwatches.

Two new cutting edge Android Wear 2.0 watches will launch in 2017. Google will promote them, but they will be made for the company by an as yet unnamed manufacturer. We will probably find out nearer the launch date.

Android Wear 2.0 is a significant redesign and upgrade of the watch operating system. It will feature Android Pay, so that you will be able to buy goods with your watch without needing to get out your phone.

You might expect the watches to carry the Pixel branding given the success of the launch of the Pixel phones, but it will not be used.