South Africa expected to be the next big market for smartwatches and fitness trackers

 ·8 May 2018

South Africa could be the next big market for fitness trackers and smartwatches.

This is according to the latest Ipsos Affluent Survey, which surveyed the adoption of wearables, smartphones and many other personal electronics in 41 countries worldwide.

According to a Ipsos, less that 13% of South African households currently own some form of wearable technology – however, this number is expected to increase as the technology becomes more widespread and affordable.

As a result, Ipsos predicts that South Africa is behind only Jordan when it comes to markets with the greatest future sales potential for wearable technology.

“Early adopters of new technology, the world’s affluent are at the forefront of purchasing wearable tech, ownership reaching over 30% in Spain, Turkey and the USA,” Ipsos said.

“Globally, the USA ranks first in terms of wearable tech penetration, 35.5% of Affluent Americans have a fitness tracker in their household, such as the Garmin Vivofit or the Fitbit. Another 15.5% of Affluent Americans own a smartwatch like the Samsung Gear or Apple Watch.

“The Spanish Affluent rank second worldwide, a fitness tracker is the most popular wearable tech device: 19.5% personally owns one or more.

“In Turkey, which has the third highest penetration, (where the) affluent are most likely to own a smartwatch.”

Not just young males

While one may assume that the majority of these smartwatch owners are male, tech-savvy millennials – Ipsos found that the age and gender gap is actually relatively small.

“While, the gender gap in most countries is relatively small; men are more likely to own smart watches and fitness trackers are more popular amongst women,” Ipsos said.

“In Europe, the USA, Asia and Latin America, adoption and ownership of smartwatches and fitness trackers is biased towards Affluent millennials. In the Middle East and Africa penetration is higher among consumers aged 35 and over.”

Read: How many iPhones Apple sold in its second quarter

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