Apple Watch Drives Average Smartwatch Prices Up: Report

The average amount spent on a wearable device has grown significantly, fuelled by connected watches – most notably, the Apple Watch – according to a recent report from Futuresource Consulting (via AppleInsider). In the first quarter of this year, worldwide revenue for wearable devices surged 133% to nearly $6 billion year-on-year.

Apple watch

The average price paid for a wearable device increased 50% to $218 per unit, according to the report. Volume shipments of activity trackers grew only 18% in the quarter to reach 10.7 million units, while sports watches with GPS and heart-rate monitoring (using chest straps) increased by 11%.

Prices of activity trackers fell 40% in 2015 compared to 2014, but as consumers migrated toward connected watches, that price drop didn’t help the sales volume too much. Overall spend on health and fitness wearables grew only 2% in 2015 and is expected to be underwhelming this year as well, the report notes.

Fitbit and Xiaomi account for more than 70% of activity trackers, while Garmin, Polar, and Suunto remained the most popular brands in sports watches. Considering the above, the research firm sees a pretty good reason for tech and fashion brands to seek partnerships and acquisitions (see FitBit’s recent acquisition of Coin).

The Apple Watch continues to fall short of early forecasts, the report notes, although it cannot underpin its statement with sales numbers from Apple. Still, the company already ranks among the largest watchmakers in the world in terms of revenue, behind giants such as Swatch and Roles, but ahead of Fossil, Citizen, Casio, Richemont, LVMH, and others.