Mintel’s UK Watch Report 2015 offers an insight into smartwatch ownership and demand reporting that just 6% of the British population currently own a smart watch.
Interest is stronger, with 21% expressing an interest in smart watch ownership. The report states that consumers aged between 25 and 34 are twice as likely to own a smart watch as others with 12% of consumers in that age bracket owning one.
More than a quarter (28%) of this age group also claimed they would be more interested in owning a smart watch than a traditional watch.
Tamara Sender, senior fashion analyst at Mintel, commented: “As the smartwatch market develops, it could become the latest desirable fashion accessory, posing a direct threat to the fashion watch market as they both attract a young demographic. While uptake of smartwatches has been slow due to caution surrounding first editions of new technologies, this is likely to change as more companies enter the market and as people get used to their functionality.”
Expressed reasons for ownership or interest in smart watches include contactless payments (25%) and not having to remove phones from their pockets (37%).
“As the contactless payments market heats up, one of the key benefits of owning a smartwatch could become the ability to use it to pay for goods without needing to reach for a wallet,” adds Sender.
But nearly half of those questioned pointed to cost as a barrier, with 48% stating that smart watches would be more popular if they were more affordable.