New York—How smart are you?
Apple’s introduction last week of its Apple watch has had the media buzzing more than ever about wearable technology—from watches to bracelets to eyeglasses. But what do consumers actually think of these new products?
EMarketer reported today according to a new September report by Cowen and Company forecast the lifestyle and entertainment “wearables” category—including multifunctional smartwatches, glasses and even jewelry—would maintain the highest total wearable device sales in both the United States and worldwide between this year and 2020. “And smart watches were expected to rule the segment, accounting for around 60% of US lifestyle and entertainment wearable device sales in 2014 and expanding that share to nearly 72% by 2020.”
In another study, Canalys recently estimated that the number of wearable band shipments worldwide would jump 129% between 2014 and 2015 to hit 43.2 million units, with smart bands and watches—devices like the Apple Watch, which are capable of running third-party apps—accounting for 28.2 million of that total.
Moreover, there discrepancy among leading nation’s consumers about just what they want and expect from these smart devices. According to August 2014 polling by GfK, price was the top criteria when it came to purchasing a smartwatch among smartphone users in the UK, US, Germany and South Korea. However, cost didn’t even land in the top three in China—but brand did—and respondents in the country cared most about accuracy. Functionality was important to those in the UK, US and Germany, while consumers in South Korea cared about ease of use.
Smartphone users from each nation cited activity trackers among the top smartwatch purchase criteria, so it comes as no surprise that being able to monitor activity was the No. 1 use case for such devices in every country. Using a smart watch to actually tell time landed in second in the UK, US and Germany, while respondents from South Korea and China ranked passing phone calls as No. 2. Basic apps were the third most popular use case among respondents in the US and smart South Korea, while using smart watches for navigation took third place in the UK and China. South Korea, while using smart watches for navigation took third place in the UK and China.