Wearables are set to get a lot more popular within the next year, according to the latest piece of research from YouGov.
In fact, the penetration of wearable devices in the UK is expected to more than double by September 2015, rising from 6 per cent to 13 per cent. 2.8 million own a wearable right now, with that figure predicted to rise to 6.1 million in a year's time.
Indeed, a big part of that explosion in popularity will take place this Christmas, with the numbers of wearables rising to 4.7 million at the end of the year. We'd already heard that wearables will be very popular over Xmas, with Samsung's Gear Fit expected to be the number one tech gift, and other fitness wearables poised to sell well, too. Naturally, the fitness gadgets tie in with the usual New Year health kick and slew of diet and exercise related sales.
Fitness is the biggest category at the moment, anyway, with 3 per cent of the UK's population owning a fitness band – and only 1 per cent having a smartwatch. Of course, the fitness bands are much cheaper.
YouGov also found that the vast majority of smartwatch owners – 75 per cent, no less – were male, but fitness bands were split almost dead evenly across the genders (51 per cent male).
The survey also found that while most buyers of a fitness wearable wanted it for functional means – i.e. using and getting fit with the thing – the majority of smartwatch owners made their purchase simply to be an early adopter of the technology (read: a show off).
Going forward, there will be a lot more buyers for smartwatches, it seems, as of the respondents who were planning on buying a wearable, the majority were intent on a watch – 41 per cent in fact – compared to 34 per cent who had their heart set on a fitness band. 7 per cent anticipated buying some form of "smart wear". Apple Watch may be a tempter for iPhone owners come next year, too... it certainly won't hurt the market's credibility.
Russell Feldman, Director of Digital, Media and Technology at YouGov, commented: "Wearable devices have been talked about as 'the next big thing' in tech for a while now. Our figures suggest that the coming year is the time when the devices finally start to gain traction amongst a wider consumer audience. Crucial to this is the shift in the balance of the category from fitness bands to smart watches over the coming months. The Christmas period will mark the moment category finally moves the niche to the mainstream."