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A closer look at the British wearables market provided in YouGov report


YouGov’s recent consumer tech whitepaper took a look at the global market, with a certain focus on how consumers in Great Britain see the growth of wearables.

‘First in line: Early technology adopters around the globe’ is a piece of research aimed at better understanding both early adopters of technology – the first wave of consumers who might camp outside a retail outlet for the newest kit or shell out a large chunk of their monthly income for a mobile phone – as well as tech consumers as a whole, worldwide.

As well as looking at the behaviour of early adopters, latecomers and those in-between across 25 markets, it goes in-depth in six countries on a selection of specific solutions. The countries in question are Great Britain, the USA, Germany, France, India and Indonesia.

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Overall, it finds that early tech adopters are not a predictable group, nor a similar-looking one – and ultimately comes up with a range of recommendations for consumer tech brands hoping to increase their reach.

More specifically, it turns a critical eye to how wearables are seen by British consumers. As a highly developed country already attuned to the widespread use of many tech solutions, it says “[British] consumers should in theory be open to using smart watches, fitness trackers, and other tools and devices. But are they?”

The report finds that British consumers are likely to be latecomers, and only buy new tech when what they already have has become obsolete or broken. Since nearly half are in this category, it’s a “sluggish” market in terms of consumer adoption.

Comparing attitudes to wearables among early adopters, and among the population as a whole, YouGov finds some concurrence, and some notable differences.


The same number of early adopters as the national average think that wearable technology is too expensive. 59% agree, although the group that disagrees is naturally more heavily represented by early adopters.

On the other hand, there’s less agreement about whether the health benefits of wearables are understood and believed. Those surveyed were asked whether they agreed with the statement – ‘Wearable devices can encourage people to be more healthy’.

Brands’ emphasis on the health benefits of using wearable tech seems mainly to be getting through to early adopters. 80% of this category agreed with the claim. However if they want to reach a wider audience, it appears they need to be doing more – with only 60% of the general population agreeing.

Brands looking to boost the uptake of wearables should take note they still need to overcome something of a view they’re just a fad – something that around a third of consumers in Great Britain believe.

The whitepaper doesn’t stop at wearables – it provides a comprehensive overview of attitudes towards consumer technology around the world, finding that nearly a fifth of global consumers are early adopters. 

The full 54-page research piece provides useful and actionable insight into the beliefs and behaviours of tech consumers – and can be downloaded through the form below.


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