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2015’s smartwatch intention comparable to 2008’s smartphone intention

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New research has found similarities between the number of Aussies who said they intended to buy a smartwatch earlier this year and the number of Aussies who said they were going to buy a smartphone in 2008.

Purchasing intention data released by Roy Morgan Research has revealed that the first four months of 2015 saw approximately 520,000 Aussies aged 14 and over state an intention to buy a smartwatch in the next 12 months. The research highlights that while 2.7 per cent of Aussies may not be a huge number, it’s looking quite similar to the data that preceded the widespread adoption of the smartphone.

With wearable tech like the Apple Watch, the LG G Watch, the Sony SmartBand Talk, and the Moto 360 entering the market, it’s clear that the smartwatch is at least aiming to be the next big thing. Early adoption numbers aren’t impressive, but that doesn’t point to a negative future for the tech.

“We often talk about early adopters, but our technology research also tracks and identifies early intenders. Technology brands, retailers and marketers are therefore able to monitor adoption rates across different market segments, potentially predicting how wide and how fast uptake of new technologies will grow,” Roy Morgan Research, General Manager of Media Tim Martin said.

“Prior to the first iPhone release, only around 1 in 100 Australians owned a BlackBerry. Ahead of the Apple Watch release in April this year, a similar proportion of us had already got ourselves a smartwatch. With such similarities between the two items’ early intention rates and demographics of intenders, it looks like Apple could again be opening up a whole new market with its smartwatch—despite not being the first brand to hit shelves.”

Like the smartphone, it’s the younger age groups that could end up leading the adoption move. 43 per cent of iPhone intenders registered in July to October 2008 were aged from 14 to 24, while 28 per cent were aged 25 to 34. The smartphone intention numbers: 38 per cent aged 14 to 24 and 30 per cent aged 25-34.