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Description

Description

"Wearable tech has gone from tech-savvy early adopters to the mainstream. Bluetooth headsets were once lambasted and stereotyped for high-powered businessmen, but today, about one quarter of all consumers own a set of wireless earbuds. Smartwatches also gained significant market share in 2019, matching ownership rates for activity trackers at 21%. More than half of consumers own either a smartwatch, activity tracker, wireless headphones or wireless earbuds, and that should continue to grow moving forward."
- Buddy Lo, Senior Tech Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Wearable tech is viewed as a luxury
  • Perceived lack of utility and high cost are top barriers to smartwatch adoption

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Market overview
          • Top takeaways
            • What you need to know about wearable technology
              • The issues
                • Wearable tech is viewed as a luxury
                  • Figure 1: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Luxury purchase, by age and household income, November 2019
                • Perceived lack of utility and high cost are top barriers to smartwatch adoption
                  • Figure 2: Reasons for not owning a smartwatch, November 2019
                • The opportunities
                  • Consumers are running, jumping and swimming into wearable tech
                    • Figure 3: Smartwatch behaviors – Health and exercise, November 2019
                  • More than a quarter of consumers plan to buy an activity tracker or smartwatch soon
                    • Figure 4: Wearable technology purchase intent, November 2019
                  • Key trends
                    • Smartwatches aren’t just for the gym, they’re also formal wear
                      • Figure 5: Smartwatch behaviors – Casual and formal wear, by gender, November 2019
                    • Wearable technology gaining mainstream approval
                      • Figure 6: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Fashion, November 2019
                    • AR and VR headsets continue to languish
                      • Figure 7: AR and VR headset ownership, by gender and age, November 2019
                    • What it means and what’s next
                    • The Market – What You Need to Know

                      • Smartwatch segment rapidly growing
                        • Fitness continues to be a driving motivator behind wearable tech purchases
                          • 5G could spur increased connectivity and wearable adoption
                          • Market Size – Wrist-worn Wearables

                              • Smartwatch sales drive bulk of growth in the wrist tech wearable space
                              • Market Perspective

                                • Fitness trends will continue to drive wearable tech adoption
                                  • Figure 8: Ways to support health and wellness goals, by smartwatch shoppers, November 2019
                                • Luxury perception of wearables won’t last
                                • Market Factors

                                  • 5G connectivity could increase wearable functionality
                                    • Voice assistant usage could grow and enhance wearable user experience
                                      • Figure 9: Voice assistant usage, September 2019
                                    • AR development could spur adoption
                                    • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                      • Apple has a dominant position
                                        • Garmin revenues remain consistent despite increasing competition
                                          • Fitbit struggles amid shift to smartwatches
                                            • Sports retailers have a big opportunity to get into wearable tech
                                            • Key Players and Top Products

                                              • Apple
                                                • AirPods
                                                  • Figure 10: Twitter mentions of “AirPods,” August 2016-December 2019
                                                  • Figure 11: Twitter mentions of AirPods & “I love” and AirPods & “ugly,” August 2016-December 2019
                                                • Powerbeats
                                                  • Figure 12: Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro commercial, “Unleashed,” April 2019
                                                  • Figure 13: Beats by Dre Powerbeats Pro commercial, “NBA Unleashed,” April 2019
                                                  • Figure 14: Bloomingdale’s acquisition email, January 2020
                                                • Apple Watch
                                                  • Google
                                                    • Pixel Buds
                                                      • Google Glass
                                                        • Amazon
                                                          • Figure 15: Amazon Alexa product promotional email, September 2019
                                                        • Echo Frames
                                                          • Echo Loop
                                                            • Echo Buds
                                                              • Figure 16: Amazon acquisition email, November 2019
                                                            • Samsung
                                                              • Galaxy Watch
                                                                • Galaxy Fit
                                                                  • Galaxy Buds
                                                                    • Fitbit
                                                                      • Fitbit Ionic
                                                                        • Fitbit Versa Lite and Versa 2
                                                                          • Fitbit Charge
                                                                            • Fitbit Ace 2
                                                                            • What’s Working

                                                                              • Apple’s wearables and accessories drive revenue growth
                                                                                • Figure 17: Apple wearables, home and accessories net sales, 2017-19
                                                                              • Garmin fitness segment revenues are consistent amid Apple onslaught
                                                                                • Figure 18: Garmin fitness segment – Net sales and operating income, 2016-18
                                                                                • Figure 19: Road runner sports acquisition email, February 2019
                                                                            • What’s Struggling

                                                                              • Fitbit struggling to compete with smartwatches
                                                                                • Figure 20: Fitbit devices sold, 2014-18
                                                                                • Figure 21: Fitbit revenue and net income, 2014-18
                                                                              • Virtual reality headset ownership languishes
                                                                                • Figure 22: Wearable technology ownership, November 2019
                                                                                • Figure 23: Oculus Quest commercial “Defy Reality,” November 2019
                                                                            • What to Watch

                                                                              • UWB technology for pinpoint location accuracy
                                                                                • Haptic feedback could take wearable tech to another level
                                                                                  • Google buys Fitbit for $2.1 billion
                                                                                    • Huami Amazfit product line
                                                                                      • Sports retailers getting into wearable tech
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Nike Adapt BB informational email, February 2019
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Under Armour HOVR promotional email, December 2019
                                                                                      • Niche purpose-built products could gain adoption
                                                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                        • Wires are out of fashion – wireless is in
                                                                                          • Smartwatches and wireless earbuds are the most in-demand wearable products
                                                                                            • Apple Watch dominates smartwatch category
                                                                                              • Smartwatches are often used for health monitoring and exercise
                                                                                                • Long battery life and waterproofing top the list of desired smartwatch features
                                                                                                  • Popular wearable tech is currently a luxury category
                                                                                                    • Ideal consumer segment identified for wearable tech market
                                                                                                    • Wearable Technology Owned

                                                                                                      • 2019 was the year of the truly wireless earbuds
                                                                                                        • Figure 26: Headphones or earbuds owned, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 27: Twitter post on AirPods, June 2018
                                                                                                        • Figure 28: Twitter post on AirPods, January 2020
                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Headphone and earbud ownership, by gender and age, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Smartwatch ownership matches activity trackers
                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Smartwatch and activity tracker ownership, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Younger women opting for smartwatches and activity trackers
                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Smartwatch and activity tracker ownership, by gender and age, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Reality headgear has minimal traction and adoption
                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Wearable technology ownership – Alternative products, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Young and wealthy cut the cords on the earbuds
                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Wireless headphone/earbud and smartwatch/activity tracker ownership, by age and income, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Apple Watch AirPods Tweet, June 2017
                                                                                                    • Wearable Technology Purchase Intent

                                                                                                      • Smartwatch and wireless earbuds top consumer purchase intent
                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Wearable technology purchase intent, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Twitter post on AirPods, January 2020
                                                                                                      • For smartwatches, age drives purchase intent, income drives ownership
                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Smartwatch/activity tracker ownership and purchase intent, by age and household income, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Stronger interest in smartwatches among multicultural consumers
                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Smartwatch purchase intent, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Wearable technology purchase intent among 18-34 year olds, by race and Hispanic origin, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Audio jacks and wires are so last decade
                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Wearable technology purchase intent – Audio accessories, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Women under 55 are key to growth in the smartwatch category
                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Wearable technology purchase intent – Smartwatch, by gender and age, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Smartwatch Brands Owned and Planning to Purchase

                                                                                                      • Apple dominates the smartwatch category
                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Smartwatch brands owned, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Breakdown of smartwatch owners, by Apple Watch and non-Apple Watch owners, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Apple tops smartwatch purchase considerations
                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Smartwatch brand purchase intent, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Samsung performing slightly better among men
                                                                                                        • Figure 45: Smartwatch brands owned, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 46: Household income of smartwatch owners, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 47: Gender breakdown of smartwatch owners, by Apple Watch and non-Apple Watch owners, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Apple Watch owners younger than non-owners
                                                                                                        • Figure 48: Age breakdown of smartwatch owners, by Apple Watch and non-Apple Watch owners, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Apple Watch owners have higher incomes than non-owners
                                                                                                        • Figure 49: Household income of smartwatch owners, by Apple Watch owners and non-Apple Watch owners, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Shoppers tend to stick to their smartphone brand for wearables
                                                                                                        • Figure 50: Smartwatch brands owned, by iPhone and non-iPhone owners, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 51: Smartwatch brand purchase consideration, by iPhone and non-iPhone owners, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Smartwatch Behaviors

                                                                                                      • Smartwatches strongly linked with health and fitness
                                                                                                        • Figure 52: Smartwatch behaviors, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Men are just as interested as women in smartwatch aesthetics
                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Smartwatch behaviors, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Multicultural owners more likely to think they’re a fashion statement
                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Smartwatch behaviors, by White and non-White consumers, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Apple Watch owners more likely to customize the bands
                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Smartwatch behaviors – Band customization, by Apple Watch and non-Apple Watch owners, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Reasons for Not Owning a Smartwatch

                                                                                                      • Non-owners don’t see a need for a smartwatch
                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Reasons for not owning a smartwatch, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Women more likely to cite high costs for non-ownership
                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Reasons for not owning a smartwatch, by gender and age, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Older consumers stick with old school watches
                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Reasons for not owning a smartwatch – Don’t need and prefer traditional watches, by age, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Desired Smartwatch Features

                                                                                                      • Smartwatch shoppers want superior battery performance
                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Desired smartwatch features, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Women more likely to want to track calories
                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Desired smartwatch features – Calorie-burning calculator, by gender, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Current smartwatch owners could be enticed with a limited-edition model
                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Desired smartwatch features – Limited-edition model, by current owners and non-owners, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Attitudes toward Wearable Technology

                                                                                                      • Wearable tech gaining mainstream acceptance
                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Attitudes toward wearable technology, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Wearable tech is a luxury for consumers – not a necessity
                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Attitudes toward wearable technology, by age and household income, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Luxury fashion items purchased or intend to purchase, by smartwatch owners and shoppers, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox aren’t alone – consumers want tech for sports performance
                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Smart clothing, November 2019
                                                                                                      • Men are very enthusiastic about the prospect of smart clothing
                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Clothing, by gender and age, November 2019
                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Health monitoring, by gender and age, November 2019
                                                                                                    • Consumer Segmentation – Attitudes toward Wearable Technology

                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Wearable technology consumer segments, November 2109
                                                                                                        • Tech Trendsetters (31%)
                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                            • Figure 69: Profile of Tech Trendsetters, November 2019
                                                                                                            • Figure 70: Wearable technology owned, by consumer segments, November 2019
                                                                                                          • Opportunities
                                                                                                              • Figure 71: Wearable technology purchase intent, by consumer segments, November 2019
                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Interest in smart clothes, by consumer segments, November 2019
                                                                                                            • Waiting Wearers (27%)
                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Profile of Waiting Wearers, November 2019
                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Luxury purchase, by consumer segments, November 2019
                                                                                                                • Opportunities
                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Smartphone brand owned, by consumer segments, November 2019
                                                                                                                  • Purpose Wearers (24%)
                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Profile of Purpose Wearers, November 2019
                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Fashion, by consumer segments, November 2019
                                                                                                                      • Opportunities
                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Health monitoring, November 2019
                                                                                                                      • Wary Wearers (18%)
                                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Profile of Wary Wearers, November 2019
                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Smart glasses, November 2019
                                                                                                                        • Opportunities
                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Attitudes toward wearable technology – Interest in smart clothes, November 2019
                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                          • Sales data
                                                                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                                                                              • Direct marketing creative
                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                                                                  • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                    • Terms

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