Smart watches, glasses and other wearable devices have a long list of potential functionalities. Apple Watch users, for example, appear to enjoy using their devices to make payments. But the basics still rule for internet users in China, who are most likely to look to wearables that with help with their health and fitness.
Analysys International Enfodesk estimated that the smart band and smart watch market in China would grow 454.5% this year to reach RMB 12.2 billion in sales. After this year’s explosion, growth is expected to moderate to “just” 49.5% in 2016, for sales of RMB 18.2 billion.
Those sales will be driven by utility, according to potential buyers. More than eight in 10 internet users surveyed in August said they cared most about the functionality of a wearable smart band or watch they might buy?ahead of price (51.5%), appearance (42.7%), compatibility with smartphones (25.8%) and a host of other attributes.
And that utility was most likely to be related to health. Full 80.0% of internet users surveyed said they were interested in health apps for smart watches and bands, and 70.4% were interested in fitness apps. No other category came close?entertainment apps were a distant third, with 38.1% support.
Other researchers have also predicted high, if somewhat less dramatic growth for wearables in China this year. The Apple Watch, though, might not be what consumers want.