Fitness gizmos nudge customers to smart watches

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Market intelligence firm GFK is predicting that this Christmas will see wearable technology, including smart watches, emerging as a key gift category.

Around quarter of a million wearables were sold in the first half of this year. The category, according to GFK’s definition, includes health & fitness trackers, Bluetooth watches, wrist sport computers and communication wearables.

Health and fitness trackers are performing best, accounting for over 50% of the volume in Q2 2014, and with sales growing by nearly 20% from January 2014 to July 2014.

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“The most notable peak in sales was during the Christmas period across all types of Wearable products. It’s clear that as new brands have entered the market we have seen prices begin to rise across most wearables, however this is generally because manufacturers are positioning their first entries into the market quite high.

“As we are now starting the long lead-up to Christmas we could see many brands delivering price declines ahead of the festive season, or even introducing more entry price point models. Wearables will be a big gifting market, with Christmas 2014 the first true test of this burgeoning product,” a GFK predicts.

Smart watch sales have been relatively modest, the report continues, but this is likely to change.

“With only a handful of brands operating in the smart watch market currently, we suspect this is where there will be considerable growth in the near future. Especially given the amount of announcements of new product launches that have and are due to occur in the next few months,” GFK says.

“The two key factors to this sector will be aesthetics and usability, it is going to be crucial to ensure a consumer continues to use and want to wear their wearable device and it is not just a short term novelty. App usages & ease will be vital to the usability side,” the report concludes.

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