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US Wearable Technology market report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Wearable Technology market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report includes any technology designed to be worn including:

  • Smartwatches
  • Smart headphones.
  • Fitness bands
  • Fitness clips
  • Fitness jewelry
  • Wearable cameras
  • Smart clothing
  • GPS (global positioning system) watches
  • AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) headsets

The focus of the report, however, is on fitness tech capable of measuring physical activity and other health features.

Key points included

  • Slowing growth for wearables in a fragmented market
  • Wearables: a nice to have, not a must have
  • Early innovators stumble

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Fiona O'Donnell, a leading analyst in the Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel & Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although some segments of the market are more mature, it’s still early days for most wearables. Features and standards are evolving, companies are still jostling for position, and consumers seeking to buy are finding it difficult to get all the features they want in a single device at an affordable price. These challenges have led to some volatility in the market. However, as consumers seem to have solid interest in mobility and gaining fitness and communications features in a single wearable device, there is clearly long-term potential for this category. Fiona O'Donnell
Director - Multicultural, Lifestyles, Travel & Leisure

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • The issues
            • Sales continue to slide
              • Figure 1: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of PCs and tablets, at current prices, 2013-23
            • Little impetus to buy
              • Figure 2: Intent to purchase a PC or tablet in the future and type of PC planned to purchase, 2010-18
            • Comparatively large installed base
              • Figure 3: Technology products owned by household, November 2018
            • The opportunities
              • Men look for performance
                • Figure 4: Purchase intent for computers (NET) and select reasons for purchase, by gender, November 2018
              • Movers could turn into buyers
                • Figure 5: Purchase intent for computers (NET), by select major life events expected next year, November 2018
              • Parents a key opportunity
                • Figure 6: Purchase intent for computers (NET) and select reasons for purchase, by parental status, November 2018
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • Challenging outlook for a mature market
                  • Tablets on an even steeper slide
                    • Smartphones soak up market share
                      • Is 5G the future?
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Continued declines in a static market
                          • Figure 7: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of PCs and tablets, 2013-23
                          • Figure 8: Total US volume sales and forecast of PCs and tablets, 2013-23
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Tablets face a stark tumble
                          • Figure 9: Total US volume sales and forecast of PCs and tablets, by segment, 2013-23
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Smartphones prove tough competition
                          • Figure 10: Mobile phone ownership and type, by age, July 2017-August 2018
                      • Market Factors

                        • Coming soon to a screen near you: 5G
                          • A new reality?
                            • Thinking macro
                            • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                              • Corporate sales help drive PC position
                                • Low-cost and flexible devices an opportunity
                                  • Desktops bite the dust
                                    • Sound and pictures
                                    • Company and Brand Sales of PCs and Tablets

                                      • Lenovo, HP, Dell are global PC leaders
                                        • Figure 11: Global PC* unit sales, by company, Q4 2017-Q3 2018
                                      • Apple, Samsung the tablet winners
                                        • Figure 12: Global tablet* unit sales, by company, Q4 2017-Q3 2018
                                    • What’s Working?

                                      • Chromebooks take the low end
                                        • Flexibility is key
                                        • What’s Struggling?

                                          • Desktops get dumped
                                            • Figure 13: Household computer ownership and type, 2008-18
                                          • “Good enough” isn’t enough
                                          • What’s Next?

                                            • When HD isn’t enough
                                              • Speaking of tablets…
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Many own PCs – but more own smartphones
                                                  • Dell takes top PC slot, Apple leads for tablets
                                                    • Purchase intent comparatively low
                                                      • Performance main reason to buy
                                                        • Perception problems for desktops
                                                        • Product Ownership

                                                          • Laptops found in most homes – but lag behind smartphones
                                                            • Figure 14: Technology products owned by household, November 2018
                                                          • Lower-income consumers choose smartphones
                                                            • Figure 15: Technology products owned by household – Select items, by age and household income, November 2018
                                                          • Men still desktop fans, women go mobile
                                                            • Figure 16: Technology products owned by household – Select items, by gender and age, November 2018
                                                          • Asians prefer portables
                                                            • Figure 17: Technology products owned by household – Select items, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2018
                                                          • Younger users more willing to experiment
                                                            • Figure 18: Laptop, desktop, tablet computers owned by household – NETs (type), November 2018
                                                            • Figure 19: Type of laptop, desktop, tablet computers owned by household, by age, November 2018
                                                            • Figure 20: Type of laptop, desktop, tablet computers owned by household, by household income, November 2018
                                                        • Brand Ownership – Trended

                                                          • Dell clings to the top
                                                            • Figure 21: Brands of computer owned by household, 2008-18
                                                          • Apple has the lion’s share for tablets
                                                            • Figure 22: Brands of tablet owned by household, 2014-18
                                                        • Purchase Intent

                                                          • Laptops the top choice
                                                            • Figure 23: Purchase intent for computers, November 2018
                                                          • Users stick to what they know
                                                            • Figure 24: Purchase intent for computers, by computer (NET) ownership, November 2018
                                                            • Figure 25: Purchase intent for computers (NET), by computer (NET) ownership, November 2018
                                                          • Middle-aged consumers the prime target
                                                            • Figure 26: Purchase intent for computers (NET), by age, November 2018
                                                          • New home, new device?
                                                            • Figure 27: Purchase intent for computers (NET), by major life events expected next year, November 2018
                                                          • Parents also prime purchasers
                                                            • Figure 28: Purchase intent for computers (NET), by parental status, November 2018
                                                        • Type and Brand Purchase Intent – Trended

                                                          • Desktops fall as laptops rise
                                                            • Figure 29: Intent to purchase a computer in the future, timing of purchase, and what type, 2010-18
                                                          • Dell, Apple most popular brands
                                                            • Figure 30: Brands of computer considered for purchase, 2008-18
                                                          • Few planning to buy a tablet
                                                            • Figure 31: Intent to purchase a tablet in the future and timing, 2016-18
                                                        • Reasons for Purchase

                                                          • Performance improvements main upgrade motivator
                                                            • Figure 32: Reasons for purchase, November 2018
                                                          • Desktops get slow, laptops break
                                                            • Figure 33: Reasons for purchase, by computer (NET) purchase intent, November 2018
                                                          • Men push for performance
                                                            • Figure 34: Reasons for purchase, by gender and age, November 2018
                                                          • Performance more important to the affluent
                                                            • Figure 35: Reasons for purchase, by household income, November 2018
                                                          • Parents most likely to give devices as gifts
                                                            • Figure 36: Reasons for purchase, by parental status, November 2018
                                                        • Device Usage

                                                          • Online tasks drive device usage
                                                            • Figure 37: Online activities at home – NET (any device), November 2018
                                                          • Different tools for different tasks
                                                            • Figure 38: Online activities at home, by device, November 2018
                                                          • Young people rely on smartphones for many tasks
                                                            • Figure 39: Online shopping and work/study at home, by device, by age, November 2018
                                                          • Phones dominate for audio
                                                            • Figure 40: Streaming online activities at home, by device, by age, November 2018
                                                          • Men more likely to use desktops for entertainment
                                                            • Figure 41: Streaming online activities at home, by device, by gender, November 2018
                                                        • Perceptions of Devices

                                                          • Significant differences seen by form factor
                                                            • Methodology
                                                              • Your father’s desktop
                                                                • Laptops are ready to go to work
                                                                  • Tablets closest to phones
                                                                    • Figure 42: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Device associations, November 2018
                                                                • Attitudes toward Computers

                                                                  • Younger people more open to cloud storage
                                                                    • Figure 43: Attitudes toward cloud storage, by age, November 2018
                                                                  • Low-income consumers skeptical about the cloud
                                                                    • Figure 44: Attitudes toward cloud storage, by household income, November 2018
                                                                  • Advanced features still have fans
                                                                    • Figure 45: Attitudes toward advanced features and computing power, by purchase intent (NET), November 2018
                                                                  • Hispanics rely on mobile
                                                                    • Figure 46: Attitudes toward advanced features and computing power, by race/Hispanic origin, November 2018
                                                                  • Young people take computing to go
                                                                    • Figure 47: Attitudes toward personal laptop/use of work laptops, by age, November 2018
                                                                  • High-income households rely on work PCs
                                                                    • Figure 48: Attitudes toward personal laptop/use of work laptops, by household income, November 2018
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Sales data
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                          • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                            • Abbreviations
                                                                            • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                              • Correspondence Analysis – Methodology
                                                                                  • Figure 49: Device associations, November 2018