This IDC Survey Spotlight looks at results from our United States 2018 Consumer Device Survey centering on which brands potential smartwatch owners preferred. We asked 482 survey participants — all of whom self-identified as intending to own a smartwatch — which brands of smartwatches they preferred. Now, nearly a year later, the smartwatch market continues to grow, but the players and their respective devices have remained largely the same. Given this backdrop, the data from a year ago is still relevant today.
"The results from this Survey Spotlight align with what we saw in our U.S. Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, with Apple the runaway leader and Samsung and Fitbit following behind," says Ramon T. Llamas, research director with IDC's Wearables Program. "It's been a similar pattern since then with very few changes, and with incremental changes from last year's models to this year's, we expect a similar pattern to emerge in terms of potential smartwatch owner demand.
But what of the remaining vendors? "Our survey respondents showed less interest in Garmin and the list of WearOS-enabled smartwatch vendors," continued Llamas. "Garmin targets very specific fitness activities (i.e., running and golf) and offers a line of premium devices, so if you are not within those market segments, chances are their smartwatches will not appeal to you. The remaining vendors all have WearOS as their smartwatch platform, but only 12.7% of our respondents chose smartwatches from them. This could be due to a combination of factors: aging platform with gaps in its feature set, OEM partners not fully leveraging the suite of WearOS functionalities, and a fashion-first design. This will appeal to a limited segment of the market."