Smartwatches, Fitness Trackers Interest Different Demographics
The NPD report indicated smartwatches haven’t caught on as quickly as fitness devices, with two percent penetration, and appeal to a different market.Fitness trackers, which have a strong presence in the wearables market, have gained a large mainstream following, though income, and gender vary greatly among fitness tracker and smartwatch owners, according to a report from IT analyst firm NPD Group. The company’s Connected Intelligence Consumers and Wearables Report found 36 percent of fitness tracker owners in the US are 35-54 years old, 41 percent had an average income of more than $100,000, and 54 percent were women. One-in-ten U.S. adults now own a fitness tracker. "In all honesty, the best-positioned OEM's for the mass market are the big guys who have established a strong brand such as Fitbit and Jawbone," Weston Henderek, director of connected intelligence for NPD Group, told eWeek. "I know those sound a bit boring, but they have done the best job marketing their products and creating brand recognition. For example, many average consumers do not call these device fitness activity trackers, they call them Fitbits. That is almost like Kleenex for tissue paper. It will take a lot of effort to unseat them." Henderek noted initially, fitness tracker customers were much more fitness oriented, but those users discovered that the functionality of the devices was very basic and didn't tell them much.
"However, the market has now shifted to a wider demographic which does not exercise as much and is perfectly happy just tracking basic things like steps and calories," he explained. "So it is a much wider demographic now."