Wearable tech sales more than doubled in the UK in 2015

14% of Brits now own some form of wearable tech
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Wearable-loving Brits snapped up an estimated 3 million fitness trackers and smartwatches in 2015, which is up by a staggering 118% on wearable tech sales in 2014.

That's according to market research company Mintel, who recorded the data for a 12 months period up to September 2015.

The breakdown of smartwatch and fitness tracker sales shows Fitbit, Jawbone and company are still ahead shifting 1.9 million devices (64%), while smartwatches accounted for 1.1 million sales (36%), which is not a bad effort.

Read this: New report says Apple Watch tearing strips off Android Wear

If you compare that to figures in 2014, fitness trackers made up 91% of all wearable purchases, while smartwatches accounted for just 9% of sales.

Since then, we've seen the arrival of the Apple Watch, which launched in April last year and no doubt gave those sales figures a boost. 2015 brought us significantly better-looking Android Wear watches as well like the second generation Moto 360 and the Huawei Watch. Samsung also launched the Gear S2, arguably the Korean company's best smartwatch.

Unfortunately, Mintel didn't give a breakdown of the leading brands but Mintel analyst Sara Ballaben explained why fitness trackers remain on top for now saying, "While fitness bands are, on average, less expensive than other wearables and have been on the market for relatively longer, higher adoption rates are also a reflection of the fact that wrist-worn devices offer a compelling practical benefit to active users."

"The expected popularity of smartwatches in the short term is also the result of continued growth of the phablet market," she added, "which creates more compelling use cases for wrist-worn watches."

The data also revealed that 9% of adults in the UK are planning to upgrade to a new fitness tracker in the next 12 months, with only 8% of smartwatch owners saying they'll do the same thing. 60% of consumers however are still concerned about how secure wearable tech is, while more than half still don't see a value in owning a wearable device at all.

So it's not quite a wearable revolution just yet, but there's still time…

Wearable tech sales more than doubled in the UK in 2015

How we test

Michael Sawh


Michael Sawh has been covering the wearable tech industry since the very first Fitbit landed back in 2011. Previously the resident wearable tech expert at Trusted Reviews, he also marshaled the features section of T3.com.

He also regularly contributed to T3 magazine when they needed someone to talk about fitness trackers, running watches, headphones, tablets, and phones.

Michael writes for GQ, Wired, Coach Mag, Metro, MSN, BBC Focus, Stuff, TechRadar and has made several appearances on the BBC Travel Show to talk all things tech. 

Michael is a lover of all things sports and fitness-tech related, clocking up over 15 marathons and has put in serious hours in the pool all in the name of testing every fitness wearable going. Expect to see him with a minimum of two wearables at any given time.

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