In the first few months of 2021 two mobile industry leaders announced new products in the item tracking category to help consumers locate lost items from luggage to purses and pets. According to NPD’s latest Mobile Connectivity Report, The NPD Group asked about interest in the latest generation of tracking devices, 63% of smartphone owners surveyed reported they were at least “somewhat” interested in purchasing a tracking device through their wireless service provider. Looking at interest based on the smartphone OS used, 69% of Apple owners were at least “somewhat” interested, while 57% of Android owners reported being at least “somewhat” interested.
U.S. sales growth in this category last year (Jan.- Dec. 2020) was moderate, with sales up 2% in dollars and 7% in units. But with Americans beginning their return to work, travel, and social activities, in addition to new products hitting the market, NPD has reported stronger gains in Q1 2021. From January to March item tracker dollar sales were up 70% compared to the same period in 2020 and unit sales were up 67%.*
“This week’s AirTag announcement from Apple and recent SmartTag releases from Samsung, have the potential to drive new buyers to the category – especially as the need to keep track of important items while we get back to travel and other endeavors grows,” said Jill Aldort, director, industry analyst for The NPD Group. “The appeal of items trackers also stands to benefit from new functionality like the ability to tap into the large network of iPhone and Samsung smartphone users.”
*Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service
The results of The NPD Group Connected Intelligence Mobile Connectivity Report are based on consumer panel research that reached 5,100 U.S. cellphone users, aged 18+ from diverse regions and demographical backgrounds. This survey was completed in February 2021.
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