Smartwatches are booming. Over 72 million of them were shipped in 2018, according to industry analyst IDC. By 2022, that number will balloon to 120 million.
And according to a CivicScience study of over 200,000 Americans 13 and older, smartwatch ownership has jumped 39% since the fourth quarter of 2018.
Overall, 24% of Americans own a smartwatch, and another 11% intend to purchase one at some point in the future.
Breaking it down by age, Generation Z and Millennials are the most likely to own a smartwatch at 28% each. Generation X is not far behind at 23%.
But when it comes to intent, Generation Z is lapping the field, with almost one in five members of that cohort intending to one day purchase a smartwatch. This beats Millennials by 36%, Generation X by 72%, and Baby Boomers and older by 217%.
Clearly, this is a technology being adopted, and yearned for, by a younger audience.
Both genders own smartwatches at the same rate, and women are 20% more likely to purchase one in the future.
Cost remains a factor in the smartwatch space, as the following chart demonstrates. The more household income, the more likely that person is a smartwatch owner. But with bargain smartwatches coming to market – like the $29 Lenovo Ego, currently available in India – it may not be long before all income brackets can afford some wearable tech.
In fact, while smartwatch ownership goes up with income, intent to buy a smartwatch goes down. Clearly, there is room at the bottom of the market for growth.
For a large segment of the population, smartwatches feel like something out of a spy movie – or at least an old “Get Smart” episode. There’s something very futuristic, very gadgety, very Spy vs. Spy about them.
As a result, the following chart may be slightly instructive: People who are looking forward to the next James Bond movie own smartwatches at a 50% higher rate and intend to buy one at nearly twice the rate of people who don’t care about Bond.
This jives with a good general rule when it comes to smartwatches: shaken, not stirred.
Keeping up with the futuristic, gadgety theme, people who are OK with automated elements in airplane cockpits own smartwatches at three times the rate as people who aren’t OK with the idea of HAL 9000 manning the controls of their flight.