Description

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

Wearable technology is one of the fastest growing segments in consumer electronics, driven primarily by hearable devices and smartwatches. COVID-19 has spurred new interest in healthmonitoring and fitness tracking as consumers look for tools to help them feel proactive and in control of their health amidst the pandemic. Beyond the functional aspects of health monitoring, there is a strong branding component in wearable tech that Apple dominates with its AirPods hearables products and Apple Watch smartwatches. This Report will explore the current wearable technology landscape and how competing brands can make gains in an Apple dominated category.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and wearable technology.
  • Market performance of top brands in the wearable tech space and key factors driving their success.
  • Consumer ownership and purchase intent of wearable technology.
  • Consumer attitudes toward wearable technology and purchase motivations.

Covered in this report

Brands featured: Apple, Amazon, Samsung, Garmin, Google and more.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Buddy Lo, a leading analyst in the Technology sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The wearable tech category provides unique value to consumers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Hearable devices offer utility both on-the-go as well as working remotely at home, while health-monitoring capabilities of wrist-worn devices gain renewed interest among an increasingly health conscious populous. The economic impact of COVID-19 disproportionately impacts lower-income households, so the target audience for the wearable category will likely remain in stable financial conditions to drive sales in the category moving forward.

Buddy Lo
Senior Technology Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • Definition
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Hearable devices are the top wearable tech products owned – and offer greatest near-term opportunities
      • Figure 1: Wearable technology ownership and purchase intent, November 2020
    • Smartwatch sales are cannibalizing activity tracker owners
      • Figure 2: Wearable technology ownership – hearables and wrist-worn, November 2019 vs November 2020
    • Health is a top draw for the wearable device category
      • Figure 3: Attitudes toward wearable technology – health care, November 2020
    • Consumer Segmentation
    • Wearable tech enthusiasts account for about one third consumers
      • Figure 4: Wearable technology consumer segments, November 2020
    • Market overview
    • Impact of COVID-19 on wearable technology
      • Figure 5: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on technology hardware and wearable technology, January 2021
    • Opportunities and Challenges
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
  3. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • Wearable tech resilient to COVID-19 impact
    • Apple continues its success in the wearable category
    • Garmin eclipses Samsung for second place in the smartwatch category
    • Large firms adopt wearable tech to track potential COVID-19 exposure
    • FDA approval could help differentiate amid greater focus on health
  4. Market Performance Indicators

    • Market Trends
    • Wearable technology market poised for continued growth
    • Smartwatch adoption significantly slower than smartphone adoption
      • Figure 6: Smartphone and smartwatch adoption rates five years after major product release, Fall 2012 and November 2020
      • Figure 7: Smartphone ownership, by age, 2015-20
    • Impact of COVID-19 on wearable technology
      • Figure 8: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on technology hardware and wearable technology, January 2021
    • Lockdown
    • Re-emergence
    • Recovery
    • Learnings from the last recession
      • Figure 9: Annual percent change in US mobile phone sales – smartphones and feature phones, 2008-12
  5. Leading Brand Performance

    • Apple’s wearables, home and accessories unfazed by COVID-19
      • Figure 10: Apple wearables, home and accessories net revenue, 2017-20
      • Figure 11: Apple wearables, home and accessories quarterly revenue, 2019-20
    • Garmin’s fitness category continues to grow its small slice of the market
      • Figure 12: Garmin fitness segment annual revenues, 2015-19
      • Figure 13: Garmin fitness segment quarterly revenue, 2019-20
    • Fitbit hopes turnaround is just around the corner
      • Figure 14: Fitbit annual revenue, 2015-19
      • Figure 15: Fitbit quarterly revenue, 2019-20
    • Amazon halts its Echo Loop wearable
    • Samsung’s smartphone position puts it at a disadvantage to Apple
  6. Market Factors

    • Large firms adopt wearable technology to enforce social distancing
      • Figure 16: Kinexon sports social media posts, August 2020
    • Wearable tech emphasizes health monitoring amidst COVID-19 pandemic
      • Figure 17: Current perspective on COVID-19, December 2020
    • Regulators abroad take a closer look at Google Fitbit acquisition
    • 5G development opens the door for AR products and further innovation
  7. Market Opportunities

    • COVID-19 spurs interest in health monitoring and wellness
      • Figure 18: Apple Watch Series 6 email promotion, September 2020
    • FDA approval on wearable devices could become standard marketing
    • Expansion of contactless POS systems improve smartwatch utility
    • Super Nintendo World offers glimpse into potential for AR technology
    • Remote work could usher in new use cases for VR
  8. What We’ve Been Watching – A Look Back at 2020

    • What we said in 2020 – and what’s happening now
    • “Wireless is in, wired is out.”
    • “Ultra-wideband technology has potential for utilization in wearables”
    • “Haptic feedback could take wearable tech to another level”
    • “Watch for moves by Google after the Fitbit acquisition”
    • “Huami’s Amazfit low-cost alternatives could make gains”
    • “Sports retailers will expand into wearable tech”
    • “Repositioning wearable devices as health monitors rather than activity trackers may also drive interest.”
  9. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Apple continues to bring new wearables to market
    • Amazon cancels Echo Loop, moves forward with Echo Frames
    • Samsung looks to focus on bundling its hardware to increase market share
    • Garmin continues to perform well within the fitness category
  10. Competitive Strategies

    • Apple
    • Variety in Apple Watch lineup boosts consideration
    • Apple launches AirPods Max
    • Amazon
    • Echo Buds get a price cut, Echo Loop gets cut, Echo Frames just starting
    • Samsung
    • Galaxy wearable lineup goes on sale for 2020 holiday season
    • Samsung and Microsoft expand partnership
      • Figure 19: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G promotional email, December 2020
    • Google
    • Google’s Fitbit acquisition still has some last hurdles to overcome
    • Garmin
    • Venu Sq a low-cost option under the Garmin brand
  11. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Hearables are leading devices
    • Health and exercise monitoring drive purchase intent
    • Cost and utility are primary barriers to wearable tech adoption
    • Health-monitoring features draw in more than eight in 10 smartwatch shoppers
    • Over a third of consumers identified as wearable tech enthusiasts
  12. The Consumer: Trend Drivers

    • Technology, Wellbeing and Rights Trend Drivers key for wearable tech
      • Figure 20: Mintel Trend Drivers and supporting pillars – Technology, Wellbeing and Rights
    • Appeal of wearable tech informed by pillars Digital Entertainment and Early Adopters
    • Wellbeing a primary driver behind wearable tech
    • Rights will play a major role as wearable devices collect more personal information
  13. Wearable Technology Ownership and Purchase Intent

    • Wireless hearables are leading products to wearable tech segment
      • Figure 21: Wearable technology ownership and purchase intent, November 2020
    • Smartwatches are cannibalizing activity tracker owners
      • Figure 22: Wearable technology ownership – hearables and wrist-worn, November 2019 vs November 2020
      • Figure 23: Wearable technology purchase intent, November 2019-November 2020
    • AirPods and Apple Watch benefiting from iPhone market share
      • Figure 24: Wearable technology owned, by smartphone brand owned, November 2020
    • Wearable tech a lifestyle image product for young and wealthy
      • Figure 25: Wearable technology ownership, by age and household income, November 2020
      • Figure 26: Wearable technology purchase intent, by age and household income, November 2020
  14. Wearable Technology Purchase Reasons

    • Exercise and fitness drive consideration for wireless hearables
      • Figure 27: Reasons for buying wireless headphones and earbuds, November 2020
    • Smartwatch owners shopping for hearing devices seek connectivity and innovation
      • Figure 28: Reasons for buying wireless headphones or earbuds, by smartwatch owners, November 2020
    • Health and fitness are major drivers of smartwatch appeal
      • Figure 29: Reasons for buying a smartwatch, November 2020
    • Health monitoring the strongest driver for smartwatch buyers 45+
      • Figure 30: TICWRIS-Smartwatch Facebook page, May 2020
      • Figure 31: Reasons for buying a smartwatch, by age, November 2020
  15. Reasons for Not Purchasing Wearables

    • Cost of hearable devices a top barrier for non-buyers
      • Figure 32: Reasons for not planning to buy wireless headphones or earbuds, November 2020
    • Consumer objections to smartwatches center on utility
      • Figure 33: Reasons for not buying a smartwatch, November 2019-November 2020
    • Younger consumers waiting for a model that suits them
      • Figure 34: Reasons for not buying a smartwatch, by age, November 2020
  16. Desired Smartwatch Features

    • Health and fitness features attract sizeable segment of smartwatch shoppers
      • Figure 35: Desired smartwatch features, November 2020
      • Figure 36: Desired smartwatch features, by age, November 2020
      • Figure 37: Attitudes toward personal health management, by smartwatch shoppers, November 2020
    • “Cutting edge” battery has less appeal than general battery performance
      • Figure 38: Desired smartwatch features, November 2019
    • Women prioritize calorie tracking in their smartwatch
      • Figure 39: Desired smartwatch features – calorie burn tracker, by gender, November 2020
      • Figure 40: Health management priorities, by gender and smartwatch purchasing, November 2020
    • A wide variety of features broadens general appeal for smartwatches
      • Figure 41: TURF analysis – desired smartwatch features, November 2020
      • Figure 42: TURF analysis – desired smartwatch features, November 2020
    • Methodology
  17. Attitudes toward Wearable Technology

    • Market is trending toward increased acceptance of wearable tech
      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward wearable technology – clothing, fashion and appeal, November 2020
      • Figure 44: Attitudes toward wearable technology – clothing, fashion and appeal, by gender and age, November 2020
    • Detecting potential health issues and COVID-19 are leading concerns
      • Figure 45: Attitudes toward wearable technology – health care, November 2020
      • Figure 46: Attitudes toward wearable technology – health care, by age and plans to buy a smartwatch, November 2020
      • Figure 47: Attitudes toward wearable technology – health care, by parental status, November 2020
    • Virtual reality has opportunities in leisure and work
      • Figure 48: Attitudes toward wearable technology – virtual reality, November 2020
      • Figure 49: Attitudes toward wearable technology – virtual reality, by gender and age, November 2020
    • Augmented reality topics draw polarizing opinions
      • Figure 50: Attitudes toward wearable technology – augmented reality, November 2020
  18. Consumer Segmentation – Attitudes toward Wearable Technology

      • Figure 51: Wearable technology consumer segments, November 2020
    • Tech Wearers (35%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 52: Profile of Tech Wearers, November 2020
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 53: Wearable technology ownership, by consumer segments, November 2020
      • Figure 54: Wearable technology purchase intent, by consumer segments, November 2020
      • Figure 55: Attitudes toward wearable technology – clothing, fashion and appeal, by consumer segments, November 2020
    • Health Wearers (19%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 56: Profile of Health Wearers, November 2020
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward wearable technology – health, COVID-19 and healthcare, by consumer segments, November 2020
    • Non-Wearers (27%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 58: Profile of Non-Wearers, November 2020
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 59: Attitudes toward wearable technology – clothing, fashion and appeal, by Non-Wearers, November 2020
    • Limited Wearers (19%)
    • Characteristics
      • Figure 60: Profile of Limited Wearers, November 2020
    • Opportunities
      • Figure 61: Attitudes toward wearable technology – AR smart glasses, by consumer segments, November 2020
  19. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Consumer survey data
    • Direct marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  20. Appendix – TURF Analysis

    • Methodology
  21. Appendix – Mintel Trend Drivers

      • Figure 62: Mintel Consumer Trend Drivers and Pillars

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