2021
9
UK Wearable Technology Market Report 2021
2021-12-09T03:07:19+00:00
OX1050549
2195
146154
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Report
en_GB
“Older Millennials’ intent to buy smart jewellery is very close to fitness trackers despite the latter’s dominance of the wearables market in recent years. This generation are among the most…

UK Wearable Technology Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Report Summary

The UK Wearable Technology report identifies consumer attitudes towards wearable devices and the wearable technology market in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, wearable market segmentation and industry trends for the Wearable Technology market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape 

Consumers are more focused on personal health and exercise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many people being forced to work from home for the majority of the year. This benefits the wearable device market, with over half of those intending to buy a smartwatch in the next year saying that physical health is a main reason to do so.

  • Ownership of fitness trackers dropped from 21% in 2020 to 18% in 2021.
  • Ownership of smart watches has continued to rise, from 15% in 2020 to 17% in 2021.
  • 42% of users are concerned about how much health data can be tracked by wearables, compared with 43% not being concerned.

The gap in ownership between fitness trackers and smartwatches has reduced from 6 percentage points to 1 percentage point in 2021. This is a result of consumers looking for the deeper health-tracking features that smartwatches can provide, being in a stronger financial position than last year to spend.

Future Market Trends in Wearable Technology

Smartwatches are tracking more and more aspects of users’ health. However, one of the major concerns is whether the devices are in fact finding out too much information about users, with this opinion splitting customers.

While 6% of consumers intend to buy smart jewellery over the next year, this rises to 17% of Older Millennials. NFC-based smart jewellery is most likely to appeal to this generation with 46% saying they would rather use wearable technology to make contactless payments than a smartphone. Furthermore, of those who have bought jewellery or watches in the previous five years, Older Millennials are the most likely to have or be interested in customising jewellery (83%), therefore offering the ability to personalise the NFC jewellery is likely to engage this age group.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Technology market research.

Quickly understand

  • Which type of wearable technology products consumers own and which they intend to buy over the next year.
  • The brand of smartwatch that consumers have.
  • Activities consumers use their smartwatch for and what functions motivate people to buy the devices.
  • Attitudes towards how much health data can be tracked by wearables and whether consumers are happy to share this data with their doctor.
  • Attitudes towards the importance of branding or aesthetics in wearables ahead of features.

Covered in this report

Brands: Apple, Samsung, Fitbit, Huawei, TAG Heuer, Garmin, Fossil, BlackBerry, Nintendo, PlayStation, GoPro, Snapchat, Bose.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Zach Emmanuel, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Older Millennials’ intent to buy smart jewellery is very close to fitness trackers despite the latter’s dominance of the wearables market in recent years. This generation are among the most likely to prefer using wearables for payments than a phone and have an interest in customising their jewellery – indicating that brands can appeal to Older Millennials with NFC-based jewellery that can also be personaliseZach Emmanuel - Research Analystd.
Zach Emmanuel
Consumer Technology Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • COVID-19: market context
          • Economic and other assumptions
            • Products covered in this Report
            • Executive Summary

                • Impact of COVID-19 on wearable technology
                  • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on wearable technology, November 2021
                • The market
                  • Smartwatches to drive growth with fitness tracker sales slowing
                    • Figure 2: Estimated unit sales for smartwatches and fitness trackers, 2016-21
                  • Facebook changes name to Meta and includes smart glasses as part of metaverse future
                    • Companies and brands
                      • Samsung can gain further market share due to range of prices for Galaxy Watch4
                        • Figure 3: Brand of smartwatch owned, 2020 and 2021
                      • Fitbit expected to retain its dominance by continuing to blur the lines between fitness trackers and smartwatches
                        • Figure 4: Brand of fitness tracker owned, 2020 and 2021
                      • Facebook launches Ray-Ban Stories glasses
                        • Anker adds to smart glasses market with interchangeable Soundcore Frames
                          • The consumer
                            • Consumers showing first signs of moving away from fitness trackers
                              • Figure 5: Personal ownership of technology devices including wearable technology, 2020 and 2021
                            • Over six in 10 women with smartwatches use it for tracking exercise
                              • Figure 6: Most used activities on smartwatch, 2020 and 2021
                            • Nearly four in 10 smartwatch owners are using it more than pre-COVID-19
                              • Figure 7: Smartwatch usage compared to pre-COVID-19, 2021
                            • Older Millennials are the most likely to buy wearable technology
                              • Figure 8: Type of wearable technology intending to buy, 2021
                            • Over a third of those intending to buy smartwatches prioritise mental health features
                              • Figure 9: Motivations to buy a smartwatch, 2021
                            • Pricing is the biggest barrier for consumers who do not intend to buy smartwatches
                              • Figure 10: Barriers against buying smartwatches, 2021
                            • Sports-focused data tracking could be the most appealing aspect of smart clothing
                              • Figure 11: Preferences with wearable technology and attitudes towards wearable technology and health data, 2021
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • Greater amount of exercise boosts wearables market
                              • Fitness trackers could re-engage consumers with features to promote healthy living while working
                                • Providing information from health-based websites on how to reduce stress can improve smartwatch experience
                                  • Personalised smart jewellery is likely to engage a section of Older Millennials
                                  • Market Size and Segmentation

                                    • Impact of COVID-19 on wearable technology
                                      • Figure 12: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on wearable technology, November 2021
                                    • Smartwatch and fitness tracker market performs better than expected in 2020
                                      • Smartwatches to drive growth with fitness tracker sales slowing
                                        • Figure 13: Estimated unit sales for smartwatches and fitness trackers, 2016-21
                                    • Market Drivers

                                      • Facebook changes name to Meta and includes smart glasses as part of its metaverse future
                                        • Smart glasses using AR as part of metaverse
                                          • Using smart glasses for working at home
                                            • There are question marks over consumer uptake despite metaverse’s innovation
                                              • Samsung and Google begin smartwatch partnership for Wear OS and Tizen OS
                                                • Wearables market benefiting from consumers having a greater exercise focus
                                                • Market Share

                                                  • Samsung can gain further market share due to range of prices for Galaxy Watch4
                                                    • Figure 14: Brand of smartwatch owned, 2020 and 2021
                                                  • Fitbit expected to retain its dominance by continuing to blur the lines between fitness trackers and smartwatches
                                                    • Figure 15: Brand of fitness tracker owned, 2020 and 2021
                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                  • Facebook launches Ray-Ban Stories glasses with built-in dual cameras
                                                    • Features to address privacy concerns
                                                      • Apple launches Apple Watch Series 7 with near edge-to-edge screen
                                                        • Samsung releases Galaxy Watch4 with further enhancements to health tracking
                                                          • Figure 16: Galaxy Watch4 pricing
                                                        • Oura announces third-generation Oura Ring with 24/7 heart tracking
                                                          • Fitbit brings key smartwatch features to Charge 5 fitness tracker
                                                            • Anker adds to smart glasses market with interchangeable Soundcore Frames
                                                            • Ownership of Wearable Technology

                                                              • Consumers showing first signs of moving away from fitness trackers
                                                                • Figure 17: Personal ownership of technology devices including wearable technology, 2020 and 2021
                                                              • Fitness trackers should add features focused on living healthily while working
                                                                • Apple smartwatch owners are less likely than average to have a network connection
                                                                  • Figure 18: Having a mobile connection with a smartwatch, 2021
                                                              • Activities on Smartwatches

                                                                • Over six in 10 women with smartwatches use it for tracking exercise
                                                                  • Figure 19: Most used activities on smartwatch, 2020 and 2021
                                                                • Changes in the use of contactless payments indicate changes in smartwatch owners
                                                                  • Smartwatches still have a role to play to help reduce spread of COVID-19
                                                                    • Figure 20: Preference of using wearable technology to make contactless payments, 2021
                                                                  • Nearly four in 10 smartwatch owners are using it more than pre-COVID-19
                                                                    • Figure 21: Smartwatch usage compared to 12 months ago, 2021
                                                                • Intent to Buy Wearable Technology

                                                                  • Older Millennials are the most likely to buy wearable technology
                                                                    • Older Millennials’ intent to buy smart jewellery is close to fitness trackers
                                                                      • Figure 22: Type of wearable technology intending to buy in next 12 months, 2021
                                                                    • Over a third of those intending to buy smartwatches prioritise mental health features
                                                                      • Figure 23: Motivations to buy a smartwatch, 2021
                                                                    • Pricing is the biggest barrier for consumers who do not intend to buy smartwatches
                                                                      • A current Apple Watch for less than £200 could be key in engaging Generation Z
                                                                        • Figure 24: Barriers against buying smartwatches, 2021
                                                                    • Wearable Technology in Health

                                                                      • Over six in 10 with wearable technology would be interested in sharing data with doctor
                                                                        • Sharing data can improve virtual GP appointments
                                                                          • Figure 25: Attitudes towards health data from wearable technology, 2021
                                                                      • Attitudes towards Wearable Technology

                                                                        • Sports-focused data tracking could be the most appealing aspect of smart clothing
                                                                          • Figure 26: Attitudes towards smart clothing and smart glasses, 2021
                                                                        • Generation Z and Millennials more likely to be interested in branding and aesthetics of smart glasses
                                                                          • Smart glasses should focus advertising on branding and basic features
                                                                            • Figure 27: Preference for brand ahead of features in wearable technology, by generation, 2021
                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Consumer research methodology

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