apple iwatchTech savvy, highly social and style-conscious – that’s the basic profile of potential wearable device purchasers, according to new market research about intent to purchase wearables from IDC. Wearable tech developers have yet to strike the right combination of functionality and fashion that will prompt these early adopters to open their wallets and actually purchase a device, however.

Interest in wearables is high, IDC found, with three-quarters (74%) of so called ¨wearables intenders¨ agreeing that ¨Wearables technology is exciting,¨ the market research company highlights in a press release.  Two-thirds (65%) agreed that wearable tech will have positive impacts on their daily lives.

However, this group of early adopters on the whole has yet to purchase a wearable tech device. They’re looking for devices that are both functional and fashionable, and the results indicate they haven’t found it yet.

Cracking the Wearables Code
“Intenders are enthusiastic about wearables but have hesitated to actually purchase a device. This implies that companies have not yet cracked the code to deliver something that is both functional and fashionable.

¨Given that intenders are highly style conscious, companies clearly need to focus on the aesthetics of their product – perhaps even more so than the features,” VP and consulting partner for IDC’s Global Buyer Behavior Practice Allan Fromen commented.

When it comes to wearable tech brand names, intenders’ preferences varying depending on device category, IDC found. Apple wearables were most preferred (52%) for smart watches, Fitbit’s for fitness trackers (37%), Google’s for eye wear (36%), and Nike’s for clothing (40%).

The wearable market’s early stage of development and the diversity of device categories leave open opportunities for vendors to gain market share and develop ¨ecosystems¨ of products and services, according to Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team.

“Intenders are gravitating towards tech companies for wearables because tech companies have helped pioneer and move the market forward. What will be interesting to observe is how tech companies partner with non-tech companies to develop new applications, or even how non-tech companies can compete in this space. Our research shows interest for both.”

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