One In Seven Brits Now Own A Wearable

InnovationWearable Tech
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Apple Watch spurs on 118 percent growth in wearable sales during 2015 as sales reached three million in the UK


New research from Mintel claims three million wearable devices were sold in the UK during 2015, representing a significant 118 percent year-on-year increase.

This means that one in seven people in the UK now owns a wearable device, including one in five of younger people aged 16-34, with seven percent owning a fitness band and three percent owning a smartwatch.

Striding forward

Moto 360 motorola smartwatchMintel’s figures also show that fitness-focused devices were a significant part of the growth in wearables, making up 63 percent devices sold last year.

“While fitness bands are, on average, less expensive than other wearables and have been on the market for relatively longer, higher adoption rates are also a reflection of the fact that wrist-worn devices offer a compelling practical benefit to active users,” said Sara Ballaben, technology analyst at Mintel.

“While important product launches have and will certainly continue to accelerate consumer demand for smartwatches, the expected popularity of smartwatches in the short term is also the result of continued growth of the phablet market, which creates more compelling use cases for wrist-worn watches.”

This growth only looks set to continue, as one in ten people said they were planning to buy or upgrade to a new fitness wearable within the next 12 months, with another eight percent saying the same regarding a new smartwatch.

Security fears

However, the growth in popularity of wearables has also raised awareness of potential security issues surrounding the devices, as three in five people say they are concerned about their personal data being stored on a wearable device.

Additionally, more than a third of respondents (39 percent) believed that wearable technology represented an invasion of personal privacy.

“The gap between overall interest in receiving alerts through wearables and specific interest in each type of information alert suggests that there is significant variability among consumer preferences and no one-size-fits-all solution can be successful,” said Ballaben.

“As a result, it is fundamental that wearables do not overload users with information and, instead, filter selectively what information is disseminated.

“This suggests that customisation should go beyond a device’s design to allow users to personalise the use they make of their wearable, as well as the range and number of alerts they receive.”

Today’s figures mark the latest supportive release around the future of the wearables industry, as IDC recently estimated that 45.7 million wearable devices would be sold this year, up 133.4 percent from last year’s figure. By 2019, the research firm predicts 126.1 million units will be sold each year.

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Author: Mike Moore
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