With how much focus technology companies are putting on fitness trackers and smartwatches, you’d think that the market for wearable gadgets was booming, but that’s far from the case. Not only do most Americans not give a crap about wearables, a new survey from Kantar Worldpanel has found that a mere 3% of Americans over the age of 16 actually own a wearable, although this is expected to change in the years to come.
The wearables market is still in its infancy, with only 3% of the U.S. population age 16 and up owning a smartwatch or a smartband according to the latest numbers released by Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. The figures are based on a survey conducted in late August among eleven thousand consumers. Despite the numbers, manufacturers, ecosystem owners, and developers all see significant opportunities ahead. Smartwatches have been on the market for several years. The Pebble Smartwatch debuted in 2012, establishing the category as it is known today. Yet, only 1% of the current smartwatches now in use in the U.S. were purchased in 2013, and 14% were bought in 2014. Smartwatch ownership follows the classic early adopter profile – more than two-thirds of smartwatch early adopters are male, and one out of three are between the ages of 25 and 34. Vendors like Apple use greater attention to design and personalization to appeal to non-tech lovers. The results of those efforts have not yet completely materialized.