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One in five Australian punters to buy wearable tech in 2014: report

The lesson for the rest of the world? Don't take surveys too seriously

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Wearable technology is being boosted to the skies, with a new marketing report predicting that more than one in five adult Australians will have a wearable device by September of 2014.

That's a conclusion put forward by the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association's Mobile Lifestyle Index, which compiled its results from a sample of 1,069 responses to an online survey of Australians who already own a mobile phone.

The authors claim that “the 2013 survey sample can be generalised to Australian mobile phone owners between 18 and 75 years of age.”

Given that Samsung and Pebble have the only volume smart-watches on the market (and ignoring persistent reports of high return rates for the Samsung devices), that Google Glass hasn't reached general availability yet, and that Apple's repeatedly-and-persistently-rumoured iWatch remains on the real-soon-now list, an adoption rate totalling 22 per cent of Australians in a year seems surprising to Vulture South.

It remains so, even when we note that the definition of wearable technology includes exercise devices like Nike's Fuel Band or the Fitbit pedometer band: the survey is predicting that there will be around 3.6 million such devices sold in Australia in 12 months.

Other findings of the survey indicate that 88 per cent of Australians of a similar age profile now own a smartphone (more than 14 million devices), and that tablet ownership has reach 56 per cent (around 9.3 million devices).

The study suggests the smartphone market has turned into a two-horse race with Apple first (claiming 45 per cent penetration among respondents), Samsung second (at 28 per cent but rising), daylight third, and Nokia slumping from 16 per cent penetration to 9 per cent. HTC's share is also falling, from 11 per cent to 7 per cent, and everybody else is fighting over scraps of one or two per cent of the market. ®

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