Smartwatches could be really big in China

Two words: status symbol
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Smartwatches in the US and Europe have fought an uphill battle for the past coming of years, coming from a place of so-called uselessness and ugliness. With the Apple Watch, Android Wear's collaborations and fresh Pebbles, smartwatches are just about starting to look desirable again. Soon, it won't just be the very rich or the very hip who wear them.

In China, things look very different. According to ABI Research's Mobile Device Accessory Survey there, 67% of people surveyed say they plan to buy a smartwatch in the next 12 months. Yes, you read that correctly - 67%. Considering that in the past, the same figure in US surveys has hovered between 20 and 30%, that's pretty impressive. The question is - why?

Read this: The best smartwatches to buy

The report, at least, concludes that it is in part down to the smartwatch's function as a status symbol for richer people in China. We'd guess this applies double to the Apple Watch.

The other aspect ABI was interested in was price, we know there's a lot of cheap knock offs in China as well as devices like the Apple Watch, Huawei Watch, Moto 360 2 and Mobvoi's homegrown Ticwatch.

So, 42% of people said they'd spend between $150 and $300 on a smartwatch, 36% less than $150 and the remaining 22% would spend over $310.

"Chinese consumers are most interested in smart watches that are not cumbersome but comfortable to wear and that clearly display phone call alerts and caller ID," said Marina Lu, senior analyst at ABI Research. "We still believe that voice interaction will emerge as a trend, because integrating voice capabilities into a smaller screen could help fit more features in a smaller, fashionable package to improve the look and the interface significantly."

Are you surprised by the figures revealed in the survey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Smartwatches could be really big in China

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Sophie was Wareable's associate editor. She joined the team from Stuff magazine where she was an in-house reviewer. For three and a half years, she tested every smartphone, tablet, and robot vacuum that mattered. 

A fan of thoughtful design, innovative apps, and that Spike Jonze film, she is currently wondering how many fitness tracker reviews it will take to get her fit. Current bet: 19.

Sophie has also written for a host of sites, including Metro, the Evening Standard, the Times, the Telegraph, Little White Lies, the Press Association and the Debrief.

She now works for Wired.

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