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Smartwatch sales on the up, 16% of Americans now own one

Smartwatch sales in the US are positively booming, putting the tepid smartphone market to shame. Some 16% of American adults now own an intelligent watch, up from 12% a year earlier.

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This is according to a report released by the NPD Group. Unsurprisingly, it’s the 18-34 category that leads in market penetration. There smartwatch ownership has reached 23%.

On the whole, though, this is still well below the 70% market penetration of the smartphone market. But wearables are steadily narrowing the gap and will continue to do so in the years to come. NPD expects the category to get a boost in the future from older segments and people using watches to control their smart home appliances.

In terms of value, US smartwatch sales climbed 51% to $5bn in the year up to end November 2018 (last month that’s available). During this period unit sales advanced 64%, an indicator that prices of such devices are coming down.

The fact that adoption is still in the early stages is good news for current and prospective vendors of smartwatches. These include Apple, Samsung and Fitbit which currently account for 88% of units sold, according to NPD. Garmin and Fossil have also carved out a significant niche. Google doesn’t have a presence, but it’s expected to make its foray into the category with its Pixel Watch in the near future.

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