Seasonal Gifts Boost Wearable Device Sales in Fourth-Quarter Leap

Ten percentage point rise in consumer awareness of smartwatches as Apple Watch takes the market by storm

One third of wearables currently in use were received as gifts

London, 27 October 2015: New research published by technology analyst firm CCS Insight highlights that the past 12 months have been a bumper period for the wearables market thanks to improved products and heightened awareness of wearable products, particularly smartwatches. However, wearables are still far from being mass-appeal devices; many owners quickly abandon their new gadgets after forgetting to wear them, finding they don't provide any real benefits or simply getting bored of them.

These findings come from the CCS Insight's third annual wearables user survey of 3,000 consumers in the UK, the US and China. The survey investigated consumer perceptions of wearable technology including usage patterns, awareness and current ownership.

Awareness levels reached a new high for smartwatches in 2015, with 90 percent of people interviewed having heard of smartwatches, up from 80 percent in 2014. Awareness of the Apple Watch was two and a half times higher than rival products, underlining Apple's market-making role in smartwatches. Other brands that achieved high awareness levels were Fitbit and Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi. Fitbit's awareness level tripled over the year and over half of US respondents who had heard of fitness trackers were aware of Fitbit. Xiaomi has been taking the Chinese market by storm with its ultralow-priced $15 fitness band: two-thirds of Chinese respondents who had heard of fitness trackers were aware of the Xiaomi Mi Band.

The survey also revealed that a fifth of people intending to buy a smartwatch planned to replace their existing timepiece. This is a clear warning sign for traditional watch manufacturers.

George Jijiashvili, wearables analyst at CCS Insight, said "The buzz created by the Apple Watch has raised awareness levels to a point where traditional watchmakers can no longer ignore the threat. With the wearables market set to be worth $25 billion by 2019 and a decline in traditional watch sales, it is little surprise that watchmakers such as Alpina, Frederique Constant, Fossil, Guess and TAG Heuer have started adding smartwatches to their portfolios."

CCS Insight's survey found that 35 percent of fitness bands had been received as gifts in the UK and the US. As smartwatches and fitness trackers are set to deliver more than $12 billion of sales in 2015, gift-giving will account for a significant proportion. Gift purchases will be fuelled by retail events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Chinese Singles Day, and the usual Christmas retail frenzy.

Jijiashvili notes, "We expect lots of people to end up with fitness trackers and other wearables in their Christmas stockings; for some gadget-lovers, they'll be the perfect gift". However, not everyone will appreciate them, Jijiashvili warns. "When someone receives a wearable as a gift they're not as committed to the device as someone who's spent their own money on one. We believe there's a link between gift-giving and people losing interest and abandoning a wearable after just a few weeks or months of use".

The CCS Insight survey found that nearly 20 percent of fitness band and smartwatch owners who stopped using their device said it failed to provide any benefits or that they became bored of it. Jijiashvili notes, "Manufacturers need to overcome this by making their devices indispensable. Successful examples of this include turning fitness tracking into a game by introducing challenges that need to be achieved and competitions between users. Manufacturers must also make their devices easy to use and provide them with a well-designed companion smartphone app".

Notes to editors

  • CCS Insight is a leading provider of wearables-related research, having pioneered analysis of wearable device trends.
  • The company's latest wearables forecast indicates 84 million wearables devices will be shipped globally in 2015, increasing to 245 million units in 2019. More details of the forecast can be found at:

About CCS Insight

CCS Insight is a global analyst company focussing on mobile communications and the Internet. It provides comprehensive services that are tailored to meet the needs of individual clients, helping them make sense of the connected world.

For further information contact:
Sarah Wilson
Harvard PR
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7861 3933
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Hot News

Team Tweets

CCS Insight
Intel uncorks OpenVINO: our thoughts on @Intel's unique approach to deploying artificial intelligence at the networ…
Follow CCS Insight
Shaun Collins
RT @paolopescatore: Our take on the new vision for BT consumer and product announcements @bt_uk $BT…
Follow Shaun
Ben Wood
Great to see @Panono has pivoted to a new business model. Device was always a great piece of innovation - hope they…
Follow Ben
Martin Garner
@intel announces OpenVino computer vision toolkit. Auto-optimising deep learning models at…
Follow Martin
Geoff Blaber
.@IntelAI & @Qualcomm both talking #AI today. They come from very different perspectives but a key message is the s…
Follow Geoff
Marina Koytcheva
Confirming humanity will become trickier with time....
Follow Marina
Nicholas McQuire
At #BoxWorldTour today. @levie arguably the funniest CEO in the business, takes the stage: “#GDPR is now more popul…
Follow Nicholas
Paolo Pescatore
@UHD4k @virginmedia Indeed, basically the first time we will see BT Sport in #UHD #4K on Virgin Media
Follow Paolo
Kester Mann
Apparent change in position on consolidation in France by regulator Arcep if it is able to "create value for the co…
Follow Kester
George Jijiashvili
A pleasure moderating this afternoon's panel on how VR & AR are transforming entertanment experiences w/ Alex Lambe…
Follow George
Laura Simeonova
RT @benwood: P20 devices testament to Huawei's ambition in smartphone market. Consistently improving design, capabilities and appeal of its…
Follow Laura
Katie Taylor
London hospitals to replace doctors and nurses with AI for some tasks
Follow Katie

Recent Blog Posts

Blog Post
Intel Uncorks OpenVINO New Toolkit Is a Big Move in Computer Vision for AI at the E... Read more
Blog Post
PayPal Acquires Sweden's iZettle More Consolidation in the Financial Technology Market Last ... Read more
Blog Post
UK Sets Tough Rules to Protect Key Infrastructure Public and Private Services Are on the Front Line of Digital... Read more
More blog

Latest Company News

Blog Post
Phone-Makers Betting on 5G Devices to Overcome Smartphone Slump Research firm CCS Insight forecasts dips in demand for mobil... Read more
More news

CCS Insight on

Watch the CCS Insight channel on YouTube. > Follow us now