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What percentage of customers don’t connect their smart appliances?

Answer: 50 percent.

A microwave oven sitting on a kitchen countertop.
Shutterstock/VAKS-Stock Agency
Turns out, more than half of people who buy a smart appliance don’t connect it to the Internet. And that makes the manufacturers sad.

Smart appliances are designed to have a lot of benefits for the user — controlling lights remotely, checking what’s in the fridge while you’re at the store, etc. But they also have a lot of benefit for the companies that make them. That’s because they collect data on how people use them so that the manufacturers can improve their products.

According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, however, roughly half of smart appliances sold aren’t hooked up to the Internet. LG reported that less than half of the devices it has sold have remained connected to the Internet. Whirlpool put its number at “more than half.” According to these manufacturers, the reason behind this is typically technical constraints. For example, when a customer changes their Wi-Fi password or Internet service provider, they don’t always make sure to reconnect their smart appliances.

But there’s another likely reason for this lack of connectedness — privacy. It’s not a big leap to assume that customers don’t want LG to know every time they open their fridge or what they’re putting into it. And with the number of high-profile cyber breaches going up in recent years, it’s also likely that users don’t trust these companies with their data.