A new survey of Internet users across the globe shows that 9 percent of respondents reported owning a smart watch. The results indicate either tepid interest in the devices (if you're a pessimist) or a market that remains wide open for competitors to enter (if you're an optimist).
In other findings from the report, Android continues to dominate the smartphone and tablet markets and is pulling away from its main rival, Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS. The survey found that Android commands a 38-point lead over second-placed iOS for the iPhone and a 7-point lead over iOS for the iPad.
The data comes from GlobalWebIndex's GWI Device Summary for the third quarter. Every year, the firm interviews more than 170,000 Internet users across 32 markets. The company's research is conducted in quarterly waves: For its third-quarter report, the company interviewed 41,823 adults.
As for smart watches and wearables in particular, GlobalWebIndex reported that "wearable devices are still highly niche" and that 7 percent of respondents said they have a smart wristband. "Currently, this is being driven by men, 25-34s, the top income group and consumers in APAC," the firm noted.
The firm's metrics on wearables are notable since a wide range of electronics companies--from Apple to Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to Samsung to Motorola--are targeting the wearables market with smart watches and other gadgets. Apple's entry into the market is under particular scrutiny; the company's Apple Watch will reportedly be released in March. Other companies, such as Samsung and Sony, are already on their second or even third generations of smart-watch devices.
For smartphones, GlobalWebIndex found that Google's Android now owns around 55 percent of the market, compared with Apple's roughly 17 percent. However, "Apple enjoys its best engagement rates in a number of key, mature markets such as Australia, Japan, Canada and USA, as well as among the top income quartile," the firm said.
In tablets, Android commands around 20 percent of the market and iOS around 13 percent.
In other findings that are likely to please wireless carriers, GlobalWebIndex said that, on average, Internet users now say they spend 1.85 hours online via their smartphone each day, up from 1.24 hours in 2012.
Survey: Connected drivers want auto safety, traffic solutions more than entertainment
Survey: More than 40% of U.S. households are now wireless-only
Lowenstein's View: Will wireless compete with broadband?