SOURCE: Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

Kantar Worldpanel ComTech

September 21, 2016 08:00 ET

Apple Still Leads in Smartwatch Sales; Sector Growth Slow

15% of US Consumers Own a Smartwatch or Fitness Band, 8.1% in EU4

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 21, 2016) - The latest release of wearable device data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech shows that, as of July 2016, 15.2% of US consumers own either a smartwatch or fitness band, with the EU4 following behind at 8.1% penetration. Within the smartwatch category only, excluding fitness bands, adoption remains low with 4.7% ownership in the US and 3.2% in EU4.

Europe's big four markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, and Italy.

"In the three months ending July 2016, 47% of wearable sales in the US occurred in the smartwatch category, versus the more basic fitness bands," said Lauren Guenveur, Consumer Insight Director for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "Apple continues to dominate this segment with a 33.5% share, although that lead shrank slightly in the last three months as the market awaited the Apple Watch Series 2 announcement. The EU4 countries show a similar trend, with 38.6% of all sales coming in the smartwatch category, with Apple leading at 31.8%."

"Looking ahead, 9.3% of the US-based non-owners we surveyed said they intend to purchase a wearable in the next 12 months, which came in slightly below the 11.3% figure from Great Britain," Guenveur continued. "September 7th's unveiling of the Apple Watch Series 2 showed Apple addressing the key considerations cited by those planning to buy, including GPS, one of the most-desired functionalities, and waterproofing, the most-desired feature."

Outside of specific functionality and design features, cost of device is the overall concern among potential buyers. While the Apple Watch is on the high-end of wearable devices, the move to upgrade the processor in the Series 1 and drop the price point to $269 may help overcome this apprehension. Apple remained true to the first generation design and form factor, with only variant additions this September, including the Nike+ edition and the ceramic material option. This differs from other trends in the smartwatch market and, specifically, recent launches at the IFA trade show in Berlin. There, releases like the Samsung Gear S3 and the Asus ZenWatch 3 highlighted the push towards positioning smartwatches further within the traditional watch category.

"Although a minority of smartwatches are currently displacing traditional wrist timepieces, the move towards more traditional watch designs puts brands such as Fossil, Mondaine and Tag under pressure to evolve their products to include features like activity and sleep tracking, and notifications. In the three months ending July 2016, 20% of recent smartwatch buyers in the US made a purchase to replace a classic timepiece, rising to 30% in EU4," Guenveur added.

More traditional timepiece designs will help differentiate the smartwatch category from fitness-oriented counterparts, while also shifting the conversation away from the question "What can this device do that my phone can't?" That has been one of the larger barriers to purchase for non-owners, along with "functions are not useful" and "too expensive." But with this reorientation comes another set of competitors, and the number of analog watches with smart capabilities released by luxury watchmakers have only increased. As has been the case since the emergence of the category, the balancing act between style and function remains the central challenge.

To view an HTML version of the summary data and an optional PDF file, please visit:
http://www.kantarworldpanel.com/global/News-Centre/Apple-Still-Leads-in-Smartwatch-Sales-Sector-Growth-Slow

   
 Wearable Penetration (%)  
 Market March 2016 July 2016
 United States 12.2% 15.2%
     
 EU4 6.6% 8.1%
 Great Britain 7.9% 12.3%
 Germany 5.4% 5.9%
 France 4.6% 5.6%
 Italy 10.3% 10.5%
     
 Australia 12.7% 13.7%
     

About Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Wearable Data
Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's Wearable data provides the media and businesses with access to the most up-to-date ownership and market share figures for the top wrist-worn wearable manufacturers. This information is based on research extracted from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech global consumer panel. ComTech is the largest continuous consumer research / mobile phone tracking panel of its kind in the world, conducting over one million interviews per year in Europe alone. ComTech has expanded upon its well-known mobile phone service to cover smartwatch and fitness band behaviour -- including purchases, source of purchase, usage, and non-owner intention. It also delivers additional data to promote an understanding of the attitudes toward the wearable market, drivers of purchase, and consumer-insight market dynamics. All consumer data in this release excludes enterprise sales.

About Kantar Worldpanel
Kantar Worldpanel is the global expert in shoppers' behavior. Through continuous monitoring, advanced analytics, and tailored solutions, Kantar Worldpanel inspires successful decisions by brand owners, retailers, market analysts, and government organizations globally. With over 60 years' experience, a team of 3,500, and services covering 60 countries directly or through partners, Kantar Worldpanel turns purchase behavior into competitive advantage in markets as diverse as FMCG, impulse products, fashion, baby, telecommunications and entertainment, among many others. Kantar Worldpanel is part of the Kantar Group, one of the world's largest insight, information, and consultancy networks. The Kantar Group is the data investment management division of WPP.

For further information, please visit: www.kantarworldpanel.com
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About Kantar
Kantar is the data investment management division of WPP, and one of the world's largest insight, information, and consultancy groups. By connecting the diverse talents of its 12 specialist companies, the group aims to become the pre-eminent provider of compelling and inspirational insights for the global business community. Kantar's 27,000 employees work across 100 countries and the whole spectrum of research and consultancy disciplines, enabling the group to deliver business insights from every point of the consumer cycle. The group's services are employed by over half of the Fortune 500 companies.

For further information, please visit: www.kantar.com
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