Wearables 2019

Advanced Wearables Pick Up Pace as Fitness Trackers Slow

Executive Summary

In the early years of wearables, most growth occurred in the low-priced fitness tracker market. More recently, devices such as smartwatches, hearables, smart clothing and a new generation of smart glasses are gaining share and attracting new audiences.

  • What is the size of the wearables market? Roughly a quarter of US adults, 56.7 million, will use a wearable device at least once a month in 2019. Just over half of those will use a smartwatch. An additional 3.8 million US children and teens will have a wearable device.
  • Who’s buying wearables and why? Wearables have appealed mostly to younger people. In 2015, 24.0% of those ages 25 to 34 had a wearable device, while 6.5% of those ages 55 to 64 had one. In 2019, young consumers will still be the largest group of wearable users, with penetration among the 25-to-34 cohort jumping to 38.0%. But user penetration for the older consumers will also increase substantially to 13.2%. Apple clearly has an eye on the older age groups with the health features in its latest Apple Watch.
  • Which types of wearables are expected to have a strong 2019? Shipments of smartwatches should grow strong, while sales of simpler fitness trackers will stagnate. We estimate that about half of adult wearable users (50.6%) regularly wear a smartwatch. At the same time, hearables may be one of the biggest growth areas beyond smartwatches.
  • How should marketers think about wearables? Advertising on wearables is still rare, but using the devices to enhance branded experiences makes sense. Companies as varied as American Express, Walgreens and Nike use wearables to enhance their brand message, either as a sponsor of an experience or event, or as a way to display brand values.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report presents our wearables forecast and puts it in context of broader consumer trends in the wearable tech sector.

KEY STAT: Growth in the number of users of wearables is moderate.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Wearables Forecast: Growth Picks Up After a Lull in 2018
  3. What Do Consumers Want in Wearables?
  4. Wearables Evolve
  1. Where Do Marketers Stand with Wearables?
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. eMarketer Interviews
  4. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report

Interviewed for This Report

Amir Ben-Assa
Interviewed November 19, 2018
Jonathan Harrop
Global Director, Marketing and Communications
Interviewed December 11, 2018
Weston Henderek
The NPD Group
Director, Connected Intelligence
Interviewed October 29, 2018
Samuel Huber
Founder and CEO
Interviewed December 10, 2018
Andrew Jenkinson
Interviewed October 30, 2018
Lexi Sydow
App Annie
Market Insights Manager
Interviewed October 26, 2018

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Yoram Wurmser


Caroline Cakebread
Junior Analyst
Rahul Chadha
Senior Analyst
Chris Keating
Research Director
Cindy Liu
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Victoria Petrock
Principal Analyst

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