Argus Insights: Apple Watch has ‘tremendous momentum’ going into the holiday season

The holiday shopping season officially kicks off on Black Friday. Consumers will rush to stores for the best deals on the latest and greatest gadgets and technology. But what items will be the most popular? A new consumer report from Argus Insights focuses on the wearable tech market and reveals which fitness trackers and smartwatches will likely be most in demand.

In the Argus report, an analysis of more than 6,000 wearable consumer reviews from the past five weeks (Oct. 4-Nov. 11) determined the Apple Watch and relative newcomer Lumo Lift Posture and Activity Tracker lead in the smartwatch and fitness tracker categories respectively,  based on consumer perception and demand ahead of Black Friday. Despite a continued drop of 4.36 percent year-over-year in consumer demand (from October 2014-October 2015) for the overall wearables market, the analysis predicts consumers will be mostly likely to open their wallets for these top products this buying season.  

Consumers are proving to be less price sensitive to what they consider to be a quality smart watch experience.  Apple’s high-end devices receive the highest praise from consumers, proving that consumers are willing to spend a little extra money on a strong product. The higher end Pebble Time Steel and LG Watch Urbane also perform well while surprisingly no Samsung smartwatches cracked the top ten list.

“After a slower than expected start, Apple Watch has tremendous momentum moving into the 2015 holiday season, topping our analysis of consumer preferences,” says John Feland, CEO, Argus Insights.  “Android Wear enabled devices have a strong showing but Samsung’s absence from the top ten shows Samsung is still searching for what consumers are looking for.  Even the new S2, Samsung’s first round faced wearable lost out to the older Moto 360 and LG G Urbane. “

Overall, wearable consumers appreciate the ability to track their heart rate and other fitness related stats over the laundry list of features more smartwatches offer. In fact, dedicated Smartwatch features like texting and email are not contributing as much to user delight to the extent that fitness features like heart rate, calorie, and step monitoring are.

In the fitness band category, consumers are also clearly demanding heart rate monitors as the top must-have feature, although overall consumer delight in this category is low. A surprise winner in the category is relative newcomer Lumo Lift Posture and Activity Tracker and while it received relatively less feedback than other more established brands, consumers were extremely pleased with its simplicity, ease of use, and instant actionable feedback of the clip on Posture Monitor.