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Retailers see strong demand for wearable devices
Posted Date 2016/04/02 00:22

Dubai: With Apple reducing its watch prices by $50 (Dh184) and wider choices available in the market from other brands, wearable devices are gaining ground in the UAE, retailers said.

 

“Wearables are picking up and with Apple reducing its prices, coupled with Samsung Gear, Huawei Watch and other brands, the demand is expected to increase as people are becoming fitness freaks,” said Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax.

 

Touch-enabled devices are already “embedded into our lives”, and usage is expected to double in the future, he said.

 

Nadeem Khanzadah, head of omnichannel retail at Jumbo Group, said that in percentage growth terms, the biggest growth will come from smartwatches, as they are growing from a small base.

Apple is the market leader in smartwatches but Samsung Gear and Huawei Watch are attracting buyers.

 

Daniel M. Parker from the UAE said there are wider choices available in the market right now.

 

“I am confused now whether I should buy a smartwatch or wearable band. My intention is to reduce my weight and keep fit even though I am not a fitness enthusiast,” he said.

 

He said he has heard from friends that prices drop drastically on the last day of Gitex [today] and plans to come and buy a device.

“I will do my research before making a decision,” he added.

Anuradha Selvamani, who bought a Fitbit Blaze, said she is not keen on smartwatches or bands, but wants to focus on her fitness level.

 

“I have become a fitness enthusiast and it is good. I had tried many Chinese bands before and they didn’t show accurate activity readings. So, I was waiting for Fitbit Blaze and the reviews were good. I did not get any bundle deals with it as it is new in the market, but there were some good deals for other brands,” she said.

 

When asked why not Apple as she was using an iPhone, she said she did not like the shape of the watch, while adding that the Fitbit Blaze offered more fitness features than Apple watch.

 

According to figures from research firm International Data Corporation, more than 110 million wearables will be shipped in 2016, up more than 40 per cent from last year as second- and third-generation products finally address the shortcomings and concerns customers have about wearables today.

 

Gartner forecasts 50.40 million units of smartwatches will be shipped in 2016 compared to 30.32 million in 2015, while wristband shipments will be 34.97 million units in 2016 compared to 30.15 million units in 2015.

 

“We are already seeing a real appetite for smartwatches and wearable technology that is being strongly driven by constantly improving compatibility with other mobile devices, ease of use, fitness-focus, aesthetic design and some high-profile collaborations such as Apple Watch Hermes,” Khanzadah said.

 

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