Apple Watch Second Most Popular Wearable in the US: Kantar

The Apple Watch may be the most sought-after smart wearable globally, but it isn’t as popular as Fitbit, at least in the US, according to Kantar Worldpanel’s latest data.

Apple watch

As the market research firm points out, fitness bands dominate the US market, with three out of four “wrist wearable” devices falling into this category, the report reads. Actually, fitness band penetration is nearly double in the US (12.2%) compared to Europe’s big-four market (the UK, Germany, France, and Italy) called “EU4” by Kantar.

“For both smartwatch and fitness band buyers – brand, ease of use, and functionality are the top drivers of purchase, outweighing both design and cost,” said Shannon Conway, wearable tech analyst for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “Fitbit established itself as an early market leader, capturing 61.7% of the US installed base by communicating a clear and simple value proposition to consumers. Apple accounts for 6.8% of the total number of fitness band and smartwatch owners in the US.”

Smartwatches could threaten traditional timepieces with 31.9% of all smartwatches and 43% of Apple Watches replacing the wristwatch as we know it, the market research firm has learned.

There are different patterns in the two markets: while Europeans apparently prefer smartwatches (55.2% of the smart wearables), in the US this changes to 22.9%. Fitbit is the most popular brand of the combined fitness band and smartwatch base, but Apple is close behind with 14%, followed by Samsung with 11.6%.

But when breaking down the adoption rate in the EU4, Kantar notes the smartwatch battle with traditional timepieces: 39% of all smartwatches purchased replaced a traditional wristwatch, with the Apple Watch being the most popular choice (49.6%). Samsung ranked second with 41.5%.