Wearables success comparable to tablets, YouGov says

YouGov has released a report into the wearables market, revealing adoption is similar to that of tablets five quarters after launch of the first devices on the market.

However, the take-up is slower than it was for tablets, with adoption accelerating to 22 per cent after this. YouGov said the reason for this is that it thinks only those already using wearables will purchase new devices, rather than the market widening to those who don't currently own one.

"On the face of it wearables are doing pretty well or at least as well as the tablet was at the same stage of its lifecycle. While looking back, it was almost inevitable that tablets would become ubiquitous the path for wearables is a lot less clear," Russell Feldman, director of digital, media and telecoms at YouGov said.

Those with wearables think it's important to have more than one device, illustrated by the fact that a quarter of people using a smartwatch or related gadget are using more than one while only 16 per cent of tablet owners had more than one at the same stage after launch.

"The good news is that wearables are considerably cheaper than the first tablets meaning that they are better suited to speculative purchases or being given as gifts. This is shown by the fact that so many wearable owners buy further devices as newer models with better features emerge safe in the knowledge it will not break the bank," Feldman added.

He explained that the majority of the wearables on the market are fitness devices rather than smartwatches and this means the market is somewhat skewed towards those who partake in exercise on a regular basis.

"It is increasingly apparent that the wearables industry needs to use marketing and create user cases to help increase penetration. This needs to come from manufacturers, retailers, operators, fitness centres as well as other interested parties."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.