Fitness Bands Still the Top Wearable in the US - eMarketer

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Fitness Bands Still the Top Wearable in the US

But smart watch purchases are expected to grow

May 27, 2016

The wearable device category continues to advance in the US. This year, eMarketer estimates, usage will grow by roughly 60%, to reach nearly 64 million people.

Types of Wearable Devices Owned by US Wearable Device Owners, March 2016 (% of respondents)

But which type of wearable device is most commonly owned? PricewaterCoopers (PwC) surveyed 1,000 wearable owners in March 2016 in the US to determine just that. Of those polled, the largest share—45%—said they own a fitness band. And not surprisingly, only 12% of device owners said they have smart clothing, a newer entry to the wearables category.

This is in line with other research about US interest in wearables. In August, for example, research indicated that the main reason US owners bought a wearable device was to help them be active, a key advertised benefit of fitness bands.

Interestingly, while the PwC reported that smart watch ownership followed fitness bands, at 27% of wearable device owners, an increase in purchases of this type of wearable device could be imminent.

US Internet Users Who Plan to Purchase Health/Fitness Devices/Technologies, by Type, 2015 (% of respondents)

In a 2015 study, The Consumer Technology Association, formerly Consumer Electronics Association, found that of the 74% of US internet users who intended to buy a fitness device in the next 12 months, the smart watch topped the to-purchase list at 35% over a fitness app, wearable fitness device and smart apparel.

Still, cost is still a prohibitive factor for many consumers thinking about a smart watch. Fitness trackers are typically at a lower price point, helping to explain their continued dominance.

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