The one percent bought wearable tech in 2014 so you didn't have to

Everyone knows you don't buy version 1 but who cares when you're this rich
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Wearable tech made quite an impression on the top one percent in 2014. If you were among the wealthiest people on the planet, in terms of earnings, property and savings, you were 3.5x times more likely to own a wearable device that the rest of us.

Read this: Apple Watch Edition buyers to get special treatment

That's according to GlobalWebIndex, a market research company which carried out a survey titled The Top 1% on device ownership and usage at the end of 2014. It surveyed just over 83,000 internet users, aged 16-64, and classed its "one percent" as 842 of these users who own at least one house plus have more than $1m of savings, property or investments. So the super rich.

Within this group, 34% bought or owned a smartwatch in 2014 and 25% bought or owned a smartband, both much higher figures than we're used to seeing when it comes to actual ownership of wearable tech. Overall, GWI estimates that 1 in 10 online adults own a smartwatch and 7% own a fitness band.

It's clearly an early adopting, tech savvy group as GWI's one percent also owns tablets (61%), smart TVs (51%) and games consoles (51%).

Now smartwatches and fitness bands have a way to go and as any of the 720,000 people who bought Android Wear watches in the second half of 2014 will know, there's plenty of room for improvement. The old tech adage is wait for version 2 but it seems the one percent had no reason to hold off when they can afford to ditch their first wearable after a year.

Read this: Apple Watch release date

Wearables won't be a luxury for much longer. Really, we should be thanking this impatient lot - the user reviews, the return rates, the feedback have already helped wearable tech manufacturers to refine their vision of what the devices themselves should look like, how long they should last for and what they should be able to do.

Even the Apple Watch will come in a range of prices, admittedly steep even at the entry level. And we saw a glimpse of a smaller, cheaper, better-looking and longer lasting wearable tech 2.0 at CES this year. We're hoping for more of the same from the tech giants such as Samsung and Sony at Mobile World Congress which begins 1 March.


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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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