Ten percent of consumers in the UK are thinking about buying a smartwatch this year, according to the Barclaycard Consumer Spending Report for the first quarter of 2015.
The findings suggest demand could dramatically outstrip supply since other forecasters expect only 28 million smartwatches to ship worldwide this year.
“There’s a huge ‘I want one’ factor for smartwatches. That’s why we believe the Apple Watch will become the bestselling smartwatch in history on its first weekend of sales. Even if the Apple Watch only told the time, they’d still sell a few million of them,” predicted Ben Wood from analysis firm CCS Insight.
One third of consumers who expect to buy a smartwatch say it is because they are looking for greater convenience than a smartphone.
Over a quarter wants to be first among their friends and family to have one.
However, luddites still comfortably outnumber early adopters. Almost half of consumers who don’t expect to buy a smartwatch simply can’t see the appeal. 45% said: “It’s just not for me”.
And, overall, consumer appetite for smartwatches remains lower than that for other mobile devices. According to the Barclaycard survey, 18% of consumers expect to buy a new phone in the next three months alone. Eleven per cent will buy a tablet in this timeframe.
The study also found regional differences in demand for smartwatches, with 30% of prospective smartwatch buyers based in London, more than double the demand in the North West and 30-times greater than in Northern Ireland.