There’s no denying that wearables like the Apple Watch, Fitbit Ionic and Galaxy Gear have become wildly popular, especially among younger, more active users who depend on them for accurate fitness, sleep, heart-rate tracking and more.
A new analysis of current market trends, however, which was published this week by research firm eMarketer (via Fortune) interestingly revealed that while they’ve already begun to catch on with consumers of all age demographics — those 55 and older will expectedly be responsible for the largest percentage of growth in wearable sales (+15 percent or more) in the coming year.
Not terribly surprising, the research firm notes in its analysis that one of the key factors behind the expected surge is that wearable-makers like Apple and Fitbit have either already added (or are currently working on) unique and useful new features which actually appeal to older users. For instance, Apple for 2018 added a surprisingly-accurate fall detection app, and an FDA-approved electrocardiogram (ECG) monitor (for those in the U.S.), to its latest Apple Watch Series 4 — while Fitbit is reportedly working on a device for monitoring sleep apnea.
“Wearables like smartwatches are now coming equipped with additional health features, which are especially appealing to older Americans,” eMarketer forecasting analyst, Cindy Liu, noted. According to Liu, by the end of 2019, some 61 million people (including one in five adult-aged users) will own a wearable device of some kind — with just over half expected to purchase more expensive devices like Apple Watch, and the remainder likely choosing cheaper alternatives for the bigger purpose of fitness tracking.
The analyst went on to caution that growth will expectedly be slower among 18 to 44-year-old users in 2019 — where the market will expectedly increase by just seven percent.
However, the number of 44-54-year-old users will expectedly continue to grow (+13%) — but not surpass — the adoption rate of their elders in the 55+ club.
Ultimately, Liu and her colleagues conclude that such advancements in wearable technology — and especially those which could make their way into future versions of Apple Watch — will be key factors responsible for spurring continued growth over the next five years or longer.