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How Many Teens Use Wearables?

What Does Growth Look Like?

Adoption of wearables among teens is low. Just one in 10 internet users ages 12 to 17—or 2.5 million teens—will use a wearable device in 2018, according to our estimates.

"Advanced wearables like smartwatches come with a hefty price tag and sometimes cost just as much as a smartphone," said eMarketer forecasting analyst Cindy Liu. "For most teens, if they can choose only one device, it most likely will be a smartphone. In fact, we forecast that 83.4% of internet users between 12 to 17 are smartphone users.

"For example, while basic fitness trackers are more affordable, they really have only one use case. This, for the most part, is something that is more relevant to older consumers," she said.

This week, we're looking at wearable users. Each day, we'll delve into a different demographic to better understand what usage among the various age groups looks like. First up: teens.

Are Parents Concerned About Additional Screen Time?

While increasing screen time is a concern for many parents, wearables allow teens to engage with smart technology while offering parents peace of mind.

“The fitness aspect of some wearables has appeal for parents who worry that digital usage is making their kids sedentary—so it may be a case of one technology offering a partial cure for the effects of other technologies,” said eMarketer analyst Mark Dolliver.

A May 2018 study by IEEE suggests that young parents are willing to adopt wearables for their kids and teenage children. More than 85% of US millennial parents surveyed would have their child wear a health-tracking wearable device.

However, 32% of these parents said they would be most comfortable introducing the devices in the teenage years.