- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Smartwatches and fitness bands continue to be popular in the UK with the latest figures from Mintel stating that sales are approaching four million devices, up 18 percent on 2016.
Mintel’s research has revealed that 33 percent of Brits believe wearable technology will “make their lives better,” and while sales of fitness trackers still have the edge over smartwatches, the gap is closing.
Between 2016-17 the smartwatch sector experienced a greater sales increase, up 23 percent on 2016, with an estimated 1.96 million devices sold in 2017. Meanwhile, sales of fitness trackers increased 16 percent over the same period with an estimated 1.99 million devices sold in 2017.
While ownership of smartphones (82 percent) and tablets (58 percent) has remained largely stable throughout 2016-17, that of smartwatches has steadily risen to its current 9 percent level, up from just 2 percent in 2014.
The research also notes that 28 percent of Brits stated that they would leave their smartphone at home if their smartwatch offered the same features, such as calls, messaging, music and websearch. This figure increases to 36 percent of 16-24-year-olds and 40 percent of 25-34-year-olds.
While, just over one in five (21 percent) Brits are interested in combining fashion and technology with smart jewellery, while nearly the same, 19 percent, are interested in smart clothing.
Andrew Moss, technology analyst at Mintel said: “The rapid improvements in the functionality of wearable technology have increased the appeal of these devices to a much broader market. Increasingly presenting these devices as fashion pieces should also help to boost their popularity with less technology-savvy consumers. Some manufacturers are even willing to concede some functionality to produce devices that follow the traditional circular design of wristwatches.”