DALLAS — Parks Associates on Wednesday announced that 2% of U.S. broadband households purchased a smart watch in 2013, with another 4% very likely to purchase a smart watch in the next 12 months.
The research, including a first-quarter 2014 survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households, found Samsung as the leading smart watch brand. Among smart watch buyers, 20% purchased directly from the manufacturer, 18% from Amazon and 17% from Best Buy. Nearly one-half of consumers who acquired a smart watch in 2013 received it as a gift.
"Extending health and fitness tracking functions to wearables is not new, but many large consumer brands want to leverage their consumer influence and developer support to get into a more lucrative business — consumers' health and behavioral data, which are critical to healthcare providers' consumer engagement efforts," stated Harry Wang, director of health and mobile product research at Parks Associates. "Apple and Samsung have entered this market with the HealthKit and SAMI platforms, respectively, and we expect to see a major announcement about Google Fit ... this week."
"This new market is still wide open. Samsung has established an early lead, but it will face much stronger competition when Apple and Google products hit the market," suggested Parks senior analyst Jennifer Kent. "Consumer acquisition is only half the battle; consumer retention will be a big struggle in wearables. Not only are wearable manufacturers battling each other for market share, but given consumers' natural tendencies to slack off their fitness regimens, manufacturers and app developers must also work to keep consumers engaged with their products."