Despite smart watches and fitness wearables adoption growing year on year, New Zealanders may already be over the initial hype of these devices.
That’s according to recent IDC findings, which claims that in New Zealand although wearable fitness device adoption at 11 per cent is now higher than the worldwide average, smart watch adoption is less than half the average rate in 2016.
“New Zealand's wearable adoption rates could be interpreted as suggesting there is room for significant growth, particularly in the smart watch market,” IDC New Zealand client device market analyst, Chayse Gorton, said.
“However, on further analysis this hypothesis is not as clear as it first appears. If there is to be significant growth in the market it will be driven by adoption of devices that are able to solve a problem.
“This is because New Zealand is full of price conscious consumers who need to see real value in purchasing a device.”
Gorton said fitness wearables are “resonating well” with Kiwis in part because New Zealand is a sporting nation at heart, and these devices are able to improve the users tracking capabilities.
As a result, New Zealand fitness wearable adoption lifted from nine per cent, in 2015, to 11 per cent adoption in 2016.
“In contrast, when you look at the adoption of more "one size fits all" style smartwatches, adoption rates are lagging,” he added.
“New Zealand smartwatch acceptance was flat year on year, only achieving three per cent adoption in the New Zealand market in 2016.”
In the longer term only 13 per cent of Kiwis expect to purchase a wearable in the future, and this is already impacting shipment numbers.
Across Australia and New Zealand wearable shipments declined 15 per cent in the first six months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.
“This suggests that unlike other countries, New Zealand consumers are quite pragmatic about the technology and not at all caught up in the hype of wearables,” Gorton said.
Although consumers value the ability to monitor health aspects in real time, use map/GPS functions, and send SOS messages etc, Gorton said a greater ROI will be achieved by purchasing devices specific to their individual needs.
“For this reason, until the price of smartwatches falls significantly it will be specific purpose wearables that drive adoption rates,” Gorton added.