Business / Technology

Smart wearables for children grow in popularity in China

By Shi Jing in Shanghai (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-03 07:36

Smart wearables for children grow in popularity in China

The Abardeen smart watch, which is targeted at children under 12, contributed 53.94 percent of the company's annual revenue in 2014.[Photo/Abardeen Tmall store]

Smart watches designed for children are enjoying a spike in popularity in China.

Shenzhen Continental Wireless Co Ltd, known for its Abardeen smart watch brand, submitted an application last Saturday to be listed on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, better known as the New Third Board, to fund further development of its devices.

Created in 2008 as a laptop and tablet manufacturer, Continental Wireless shifted its focus to wearables in 2013.

The Abardeen, which is targeted at children under 12, was introduced a year later and contributed 53.94 percent of its annual revenue in 2014.

The watch's most-popular function, as with others, is its ability to track a child's location, which has proved popular with parents if not its users.

During the first seven months of this year, all of the company's 99.96 million yuan ($15.62 million) turnover came from wearables, it said.

Interestingly, the company's gross profit margins reached 50.24 percent, compared with below 40.8 percent for the market's best-known product, the Apple Watch.

According to Shenzhen-based information technology market consultancy Sirida Media, Continental Wireless ranked second in smart watches for children during the third quarter, with nearly 170,000 in monthly sales.

The Chinese market's best-seller for younger users was the Xiaotiancai brand, with nearly 220,000 sold during the same period.

One million Apple Watches had been sold in China by the beginning of September since launching in late April.

According to China Mobile Communications Corporation, the telecommunications giant, there are now nearly 50 brands of smart watch being sold with tracker devices suitable for child use.

The Global System for Mobile Communications Alliance pointed out in a latest survey that wearable child-tracking devices have also helped fuel strong interest for the rest of the wearables market.

Oliver Rust, managing director of market consultancy Nielsen China, said that more companies are now tailoring their wearable devices to appeal to a wider range of consumers, including the elderly.

"Parents may not want to buy a smartphone for their 7-year-old; but they might be open to buying a smart watch for themselves," he said.

"The potential of wearable technology is still in its infancy."

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