Fitness Wearables Are Mainstream, But Smartwatches Are Still For Tech Snobs

More than 2 million Australians over the age of 16 use a wearable device, a trend driven by the enthusiastic adoption of health and fitness apps — and health-orientated lifestyle choices.

A study by Telsyte predicts by 2020 around a third of the population could be wearing a smart wearable device on their wrists.

Image: Fitbit

In Australia, smart wearables continue to be dominated by lower cost smart wristbands rather than premium priced smartwatches. Around 76 per cent of the 944,000 units sold in the second half of 2015 were smart wristbands, such as those produced by Fitbit and Garmin.

Smartwatches, on the other hand, have been less successful in attracting the mainstream buyer.

The research shows that current smartwatch users are twice as likely to want to "stand out in a crowd", three times more likely to "always keep up with the latest technology developments" and five times more likely to "feel pressure to buy the latest gadgets" than the average Australian consumer.

This leads researchers to believe the smartwatch market is still only drawing in early adopters of technology. The lines are blurring though, as more affordable smart wristbands are offering features that were previously only available on smartwatches.

The study showed that Apple retained market leadership of the Australian smartwatch market in 2015, followed by Samsung and LG.



    My old watch was a decent quality, but was struggling. Buttons were getting seized up, so I couldnt change the time, use the stopwatch etc, and while there was an analog face to use, I decided I could use a new watch.

    So I bought a Samsung Gear S2 last year, and havent regretted it once. Not about having the latest, or standing out, or whatever, just that I was in the market for a watch, had a broad price goal of $500, and decided a smart watch would fill the role.

    Right place, right time, and in the end surprisingly complimentary to my mobile. It hasnt changed my world, but its streamlined it that little bit.

    I bought it to be a fitness tracker, of sorts, and as a gateway to my phone, of sorts. Naysayers will pick that apart, but for ME, it does a job. Whats surprised me has been how many others I've come across with some sort of smartwatch, and how much a conversation starter its been.

      I have the Samsung Gear 2 Neo. Got for $10 a month with my S3 I believe. Still goes strong. Don't see any need to upgrade until Android Pay / Samsung Pay are up and running properly.

      Last edited 15/03/16 1:38 pm

    article confirms my suspisioncs.
    Dont see any reason to want one unless your a cashed up gadget lover or like to show off.

      Your looking at it as a gimmick. Smartwatches can be awesome tools for work, health and in my case parenting. I don't pull out my phone at work I just have to glance at my wrist to filter out non work stuff, battery last longer because I don't need to look at my phone which all adds up to more time efficiency. My running, pedometer and training is on a smartwatch so huge health benefits there. Lastly I don't use my phone while with my son. I'll get the notification on my wrist and deal with it if it's important. I do believe it's not for everyone but don't diss it if it makes a positive impact on some people's lives. I paid $200 for mine. Same starting price for a good normal watch.

    I don't care if it's a smartwatch or wristband (although I prefer smartwatches such as the Moto 360 2nd Gen) , but there's one wearable I hate. I loathe. It's called the Apple Watch. Ever heard of it? Nope, me neither.

    People actually feel pressured to buy new gadgets? Where is this pressure coming from?

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