Wearable makers see huge potential in Chinese market

Wearable makers are starting to look closely at the Chinese market, as more customers in the country pick up their first wearable product.

In the past few months, Fitbit entered the market through a deal with Alibaba and Motorola launched the Moto 360 in late 2015. The smartwatch has seen impressive sales, though the Apple Watch remains the king of smartwatches.

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Most Chinese customers aren’t interested in expensive smartwatches, the Mi Band and Garmin wearables are the most popular in the country, alongside wearables for purchasing items, like the iShuashua and Alibaba-backed FiiSmart Pay Watch. Most wearables are under $200, which is still a lot in China, but not out of the reach of most customers.

Expensive wearables, like the Apple Watch Edition, are not picking up much steam in China. Apart from the odd billionaire child purchasing dozens for his classmates, there doesn’t seem too many willing to put down $10,000 for the gadget.

Misfit wearable gaining some notice

That said, fashion wearables from Misfit are seeing some interest. The company recently launched Ray, a wearable that tracks fitness and monitors sleeping patterns, similar to the Fitbit. The tracker comes with a bracelet, apparently making it more appealing to fashion fans.

In the fitness world, Chinese customers are starting to look for more than the average tracking capabilities. Some are looking for specific wearables — something Xmetrics CEO said would be the case — while others start to spend more on a wearable that can do more.

We suspect most of these shoppers will move over to a smartwatch in the future, unless they’re fully committed to fitness. The latter might start expanding their wearable collection to include single sport devices.

China’s wearable market is still quite small, but IDC notes that it is the fastest growing in the world. That makes it the perfect ground for companies like Fitbit and Jawbone to increase sales, while looking at ways to gain more customers in the U.S. and Europe, where sales have slowed.

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