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New Apple Watch Capitalizes on Continued Growth in Wearables Market

In the connected health space, the adoption of internet connected technologies that can monitor individual health and fitness is rapidly growing. Parks Associates latest research finds 42% of US broadband households own at least one connected health device, including 28% that own a wearable and 15% with a connected medical device, such as a smart thermometer or wireless CPAP machine.

From 2019 to 2020, consumer-reported smart watch ownership nearly doubled, with 22% of the heads of broadband households indicating that they currently own one of the devices. The largest contributing factor to this growth is adoption of Apple Watches where this year, 46% of wearables owners report personally owning this brand, a 64% year-over-year increase. This growth has come at the expense of other major smartwatch manufacturer, Fitbit.

In mid-September, Apple announced its latest iteration, the new Apple Watch Series 6. Arriving at a time when many individuals are more health conscious due to the changing nature of the COVID 19 crisis, this latest Apple watch offers distinct new health features over previous versions.

First is the addition of a new blood oxygen sensor. Along with the addition of blood oxygen readings, the newest Apple Watch now tracks its wearers’ sleep habits by integrating with the brand new Apple Sleep app. This is the first time the Apple Watch has natively supported sleep tracking, and adding this feature now brings the smart watch to feature parity with its competitors’ devices. The combination of sleep tracking and blood oxygen monitoring can be especially useful in detecting sleep conditions that might be causing restlessness.

The latest update to Apple’s watch software, watchOS 7, which coincided with the Series 6’s launch, also allows children and older adults without iPhones to have an Apple Watch with its own phone number and cellular connection through the family member’s account. This feature provides new child and elder safety and security use cases, such as location tracking and fall detection, giving family members the opportunity to easily stay in contact with loved ones.

Overall, Apple’s newest smart watch release and previous growth in the smart watch sector is indicative of the continued consumer interest in wearables and other connected health products. This timely release, coupled with the announcement of a new Fitness+ personal exercise subscription service, are factors designed to expand the Apple user base and capture the growing opportunity within the connected consumer device market..

To learn more about smart watches, wearables, and the connected health and fitness markets, view Parks Associates’ recent study, Connected Health, Wearables, and Fitness.

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