Here’s some good news for smartwatches. A new study conducted by international market research firm Mintel says that in the period from September 2014 to September 2015, 3 million smartwatches and smart fitness trackers (combined) were sold, which is supposedly a 118% increase in the same 12 months from throughout 2014. Fitness trackers still rule the roost, however, with Fitbit selling 1.9 million smart fitness trackers, but smartwatches are growing in popularity: 1.1 million smartwatches were purchased within a 12-month period.
The UK smartwatch adoption rate is promising and positive, and it’s good to see smartwatches finally get something of a good report. In 2014, when Google unveiled its wearables platform, Android Wear, smartwatch adoption was very, very new – and most people were content with fitness trackers. At the year’s end, Motorola and its Moto 360 came out on top with about 700,000 sold. Since Motorola was the big winner with its first-generation Moto 360 that topped all its Android Wear competitors, Android Wear didn’t really shake or rattle the smartwatch market and jumpstart it that year. To see that 2015 has proven different, with 1 million smartwatches sold in the UK in that timeframe, is the good news that smartwatch makers have been longing to read and hear.
The gap is narrowing between Fitbit and its fitness trackers and smartwatches, but it’s easy to see why. Smartwatches are designed for formal and informal activity, and aren’t just devised for fitness (as is the case for fitness trackers). This flexibility of occasion (you can wear a smartwatch anywhere, for anything) is a large part behind their appeal and the growing consumer demand for them.