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Smartwatches vs fitness trackers: Which is the most desirable?

For some time now, fitness trackers have surged ahead in the wearable tech popularity stakes, but with Apple Watch launching on 24 April, new research has found that smart watches are over taking fitness trackers as the most in-demand product with consumers.

The study by Apadmi, the UK’s leading mobile app developer, was conducted to form part of its new report which aims to give businesses and app developers more insight into the public’s view of wearable technology.

It found that over 40 per cent of people in the UK would most like to buy a smart watch, with just 28 per cent of respondents saying they would prefer to buy a fitness tracker. Just 23 per cent stated they would like to purchase smart glasses such as Google Glass, while only 18 per cent said they would be most likely to buy smart clothing.

Last year, research found that fitness trackers were the most in-demand form of wearable technology. For instance, Nielsen reported that among wearable technology owners, the most popular devices were fitness bands (61 per cent) followed some way back by smartwatches (45 per cent). While YouGov found that the largest wearable technology category was fitness devices, with 3 per cent of the UK population possessing a fitness tracker – compared to just 1 per cent with smartwatches.

However, with the emergence of new smart watches such as Apple Watch, Apadmi’s latest research shows the shift is changing towards these types of wearables.

“Times are changing, however, and from late 2014 onwards we've suddenly started to see more consumers reporting that they want a smartwatch over anything else. This correlates with the fact that Apple is launching its first smartwatch,” said Nick Black, co-founder and director at Apadmi.