New Research From Phoenix Marketing International Reveals Wearable Tech Industry Set for Massive Expansion; Market Fragmentation Creating Opportunities For Brand Improvement

27% of adults 18-64 report owning an activity tracker/smartwatch while 29% of those who do not currently own say they are very likely to purchase one in the next six months.

Today, Phoenix Marketing International (http://phoenixmi.com/), a premier global marketing services firm, has released results from a recent study and presentation at the joint NY/PA MRA meeting on wearable technology, including growth and the current issues brands and consumers are facing. The study focused on consumers who currently use wearable devices or plan to possibly do so in the next six months. This research included all brands, but focused on the top five largest: Fitbit, Apple, Samsung, Garmin and Jawbone. Using Phoenix’s Proprietary Problem Detection Platform (PDP), current brand strengths and irritations were uncovered, as well as the power of current and potential future product attributes.

Industry data shows that the usage of wearable technology devices has almost tripled in the last two years, and is projected to grow an estimated 25%-40% over the next two years. In the Phoenix study, 27% of adults 18-64 reported owning an activity tracker, with 50% of the owners reporting to be very likely to purchase a new device within the next six months. When combined with those who are not current owners, but plan to be in the next six months, there is a whopping 42% of the 18-64 population who will be in the wearable tech market in during the next six months.

When looking at brand perception among current and near-term users at first glance, we see the top three perceived brands of Fitbit, Apple and Samsung ranked a close first, second and third; however once we dig deeper we see a much different story. Using our forced differentiation process we see that Fitbit is strongly in the lead, being the only brand that has significantly more ‘A’ ratings than ‘F’ ratings, while Apple has roughly equal  ‘A’ and ‘F’ ratings and all others major brands having significantly more ‘F’ ratings than ‘A ratings’. Click here to view the results.

Surprisingly, when we look at our Irritation Index, which measures product/feature irritation amongst current users, we see a much different story. While Fitbit is still in the number one spot, it is followed closely by Garmin; all other major brands show much higher levels of irritation.

“Currently, the proprietary closed-end/closed-app Fitbit tracker is winning the day,” said John Schiela, President, Phoenix Converged Technology & Media.” Garmin has a strong current niche position of satisfied users and has the potential to gain significant share. While the Apple brand is still very strong overall, from a wearable tech perspective many users are disappointed; they most likely expected to get an iPhone on their wrist but instead got a small second screen for their current device – many may have been happier just duct taping their iPhone to their forearm.”

In looking at future desired attributes and features, we see a decent opportunity for an expansion into virtual coaching and true medical testing.

“While the wearable tech market is strong and growing, the future will be owned by those that innovate and stay one step ahead of the pack,” said John Hartman, President, Phoenix Predictive Analytics.” There is potential for the wearable tech market to dramatically shift towards simple telemetric devices that read and transmit a person’s behavior, heartbeat, steps,and even glucose levels to their smartphone, which is then tracked by open-ended apps on the phone or in the cloud.”

The Phoenix Converged Technology & Media group is hosting a webinar revealing additional findings “Locating Unmet Needs in Wearable Technology Health Trackers” on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 from 1:00PM – 2:00PM EST. The webinar will be presented by John Schiela, President, Phoenix Converged Technology & Media and John Hartman, Ph.D., Head of Phoenix Predictive Analytics. To register for the webinar visit: http://phoenixmi.com/events/wearabletechwebinar/

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