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Three out of four wearable devices worn by U.S. consumers are fitness bands, over half of which are made by Fitbit, according to new statistics released today.

According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech's wearable tech report 2016, more than one in ten consumers in the U.S. own a wearable device (12.2 percent of survey respondents), yet despite smartwatch vendors like Apple promoting advanced features over and above health and fitness capabilities, fitness bands are showing no signs of wavering popularity.

Fitbit-Apple-Watch.jpg

"For both smartwatch and fitness band buyers - brand, ease of use, and functionality are the top drivers of purchase, outweighing both design and cost," said Shannon Conway, wearable tech analyst for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. "Fitbit established itself as an early market leader, capturing 61.7 percent of the U.S. installed base by communicating a clear and simple value proposition to consumers." By contrast, Apple accounts for only 6.8 percent of the total number of fitness bands and smartwatches owned in the US.

In the two months ending with March 2016, Fitbit claimed more than 50 percent of wearable purchases with the sales period only partially covering its newest releases, the Blaze and the Alta. Apple and Garmin trailed in second and third, respectively.

In the same period, Fitbit's Flex continued to be one of the top-selling models among fitness bands and smartwatches combined, behind the Fitbit Charge and Charge HR. Overall sales of wrist-worn wearables were driven largely by online purchases (63 percent) and particularly through Amazon.com, which has proven to be Fitbit's top retailer.

Meanwhile in Europe, wearables have not seen the same popularity as in the U.S., achieving only half the market penetration (6.6 percent), while Fitbit does not dominate the market the way it does on the other side of the Atlantic. "Of the combined fitness band and smartwatch base, Fitbit remains the most-owned brand at 18.5 percent, but Apple and Samsung follow closely with 14 percent and 11.6 percent, respectively," said market analyst Lauren Guenveur. Europe's big four markets include Great Britain, Germany, France, and Italy.

Earlier this week, Fitbit CEO James Park explained in an interview how he decided to re-engineer Fitbit products to support Bluetooth following the introduction of the iPhone 4s (the first iPhone to support Bluetooth 4.0), which made the the Fitbit One and the Fitbit Zip highly successful as a result. Since then, Fitbit has made an effort to stray away from Apple's approach to product design, focusing on simple devices to make wearables more approachable while avoiding "feature overload".

Fitbit sold 21.4 million devices in 2015, earning $1.86 billion in revenue. While Apple doesn't break out sales of the Apple Watch, IDC and Strategy Analytics estimates put sales at approximately 11.4 million.

The full Kantar Worldpanel ComTech Quarterly Wearables Report can be viewed here.

Article Link: Fitness Bands Continue to Outsell Smartwatches in Wearable Market
 

bushido

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Mar 26, 2008
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a fitness band for sports is what an Kindle is for reading next to an iPad. Of course its better cuz it only got to focus on one main function :) plus you dont have to charge either for like a month
 
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TwoBytes

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2008
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Of course. They have great battery life, very functional, and are affordable.

3 things the Apple Watch isn't.

Yep.

The Apple watch doesn't compete with fitness bands.
My Fitbit lasts all week and track calories. Apple watch doesn't which is why it's not doing as well as it could.

Apple watch 1 - battery doesn't last a day
Apple watch 2 - new feature, battery lasts 1 day!
Apple Watch 3 - battery lasts 2 days. It's 50% better!
Apple Watch 4 - etc..

Meanwhile, i'm sure all other fitness trackers will last a month on a single charge, track calories, barcode scan and do all other sorts of body tracking.
 
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NT1440

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May 18, 2008
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Flip camera's were also hot sellers for the 6 months they were a thing.
 
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Steeley

macrumors 6502
Sep 10, 2011
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My Fitbit sits in a drawer. I don't need another thing in life to fail at. I wonder how many people that own them continue to use them.
 
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iLoveDeveloping

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2009
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Of course. They have great battery life, very functional, and are affordable.

3 things the Apple Watch isn't.

While I agree with you 100% it's still only been a year. Give it some time Fitbits have been around a long time of course more have them.


Yep.

The Apple watch doesn't compete with fitness bands.
My Fitbit lasts all week and track calories. Apple watch doesn't which is why it's not doing as well as it could.

Apple watch 1 - battery doesn't last a day
Apple watch 2 - new feature, battery lasts 1 day!
Apple Watch 3 - battery lasts 2 days. It's 50% better!
Apple Watch 4 - etc..

Meanwhile, i'm sure all other fitness trackers will last a month on a single charge, track calories, barcode scan and do all other sorts of body tracking.


My Apple Watch 1 lasts all day I've never finished a day less than 30%. I don't know what the hell you are doing with it.


Flip camera's were also hot sellers for the 6 months they were a thing.


And the award for most random pointless comment... Seriously, what the hell are you talking about? Ye a flip camera is a smart watch or wearable... By the way I still have a flip cam and still works perfect!
 
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RichTF

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2007
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London, UK
Yep.

The Apple watch doesn't compete with fitness bands.
My Fitbit lasts all week and track calories. Apple watch doesn't which is why it's not doing as well as it could.

Apple watch 1 - battery doesn't last a day
Apple watch 2 - new feature, battery lasts 1 day!
Apple Watch 3 - battery lasts 2 days. It's 50% better!
Apple Watch 4 - etc..

Meanwhile, i'm sure all other fitness trackers will last a month on a single charge, track calories, barcode scan and do all other sorts of body tracking.

Do you actually own/use an Apple Watch? Mine lasts a day easily, typically with around 40% charge left when I go to bed. I've been able to make it last 2 days on a few occasions already, when I've been travelling and forgot my charger, which took a bit of careful use but wasn't hard.

Fitbit are doing great. That's awesome.

Apple Watch is doing great too. That's also awesome. No need to try and awkwardly shoehorn it into the "flop" category.
 
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bushido

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Do you actually own/use an Apple Watch? Mine lasts a day easily, typically with around 40% charge left when I go to bed. I've been able to make it last 2 days on a few occasions already, when I've been travelling and forgot my charger, which took a bit of careful use but wasn't hard.

the battery on mine is pure crap. i bought it in April of last year and its down to 70% after 90 minutes of "usage" which translates to sitting on my desk checking the time occasionally
 
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maflynn

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May 3, 2009
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Fitbit is still wicked popular, and the Apple watch just can't compete at the price point. Its a device that is very apple like in its simplicity, yet Apple's watch is unlike other apple products in that its not that simple to operate.
 
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RichTF

macrumors regular
Nov 11, 2007
203
488
London, UK
the battery on mine is pure crap. i bought it in April of last year and its down to 70% after 90 minutes of "usage" which translates to sitting on my desk checking the time occasionally
Sounds like you should take yours back to an Apple Store before the warranty runs out, that's not normal. Just checked mine (also bought on launch day) which I've been wearing and using for 5 hours — 90% battery.
 
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bbeagle

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2010
3,429
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Buffalo, NY
Of course. They have great battery life, very functional, and are affordable.

3 things the Apple Watch isn't.

The main reason is that they're cheaper.

Fitness bands have far LESS functionality, and because of this, they have much better battery life.

I owned a FitBit, a Jawbone and a Nike Gear. I junked all those, and wear an Apple Watch because it's so much better. Battery life is irrelevant. It lasts all day and is charging on my nightstand every night. The Apple Watch is my alarm clock as well.
[doublepost=1462365698][/doublepost]
the battery on mine is pure crap. i bought it in April of last year and its down to 70% after 90 minutes of "usage" which translates to sitting on my desk checking the time occasionally

Something's wrong with it. I got mine in May last year, use it every day, charge every night. Battery is still the same.

Charge is still 94% after 2 1/2 hours of checking time, viewing a few text messages and alerts, and playing music. Something's wrong with yours. Either that, or it's searching for a bluetooth connection to your phone, or some apps in the background are doing something wrong.
[doublepost=1462366026][/doublepost]
Yep.

The Apple watch doesn't compete with fitness bands.
My Fitbit lasts all week and track calories. Apple watch doesn't which is why it's not doing as well as it could.

Apple watch 1 - battery doesn't last a day
Apple watch 2 - new feature, battery lasts 1 day!
Apple Watch 3 - battery lasts 2 days. It's 50% better!
Apple Watch 4 - etc..

Meanwhile, i'm sure all other fitness trackers will last a month on a single charge, track calories, barcode scan and do all other sorts of body tracking.

I doubt you have used an Apple watch.

Battery lasts well over a day. Every time. On high intensity days (lots of alerts, text messages, long workouts using music), I've gotten it to 19%. Other days it's 40% when I go to bed after 18 hours and put it on the charger. Battery is a non-issue.

The Apple Watch tracks calories. Swipe to the right on the activity icon - it's right there. And gives you a circular graph showing what percentage of your daily goal you've hit. The Apple Watch tracks steps, heart beat, exercise, hours stood, etc.

The Apple Watch is much more expensive, which is why FitBit is outselling it. I had a FitBit before, and it's in my dresser drawer, never used since I got the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch is so much better in every way.
 
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convergent

macrumors 68040
May 6, 2008
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This is a silly comparison... its like saying "this just in... economy cars outselling luxury cars".

They are completely different products... the only common point being that you wear them on your wrist.

As for the complaints here about the watch... it definitely can be improved upon which is great for the future of the product. But at this point its by far the best smartwatch out there and has sold more then the rest of the market combined. The battery complaint is kind of silly to me because I've never had it not make it through the day and I charge it with my phone at night so not seeing what the big problem is.

A big part of FitBit's success is the social element of "competing" with friends for steps. I've never understood why Apple doesn't buy companies like this, Waze (before Google did), Nest (before Google did), etc., that have big social followings and could easily be net gains to the Apple ecosystem. If they bought FitBit, they could then join the social following with the Apple Watch and merge the products. My prediction is that Google (aka Alphabet) will buy FitBit.
 
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Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
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The Apple Watch is so much better in every way.

... Except price. Not everyone needs everything the Watch offers, especially for the price. Moreover, the Watch offers one design for the price, so it's not like everyone is even getting something they would just like to wear to help justify the cost for added features they don't need or want.
 
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Blur128

macrumors newbie
Dec 15, 2014
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Of course. They have great battery life, very functional, and are affordable.

3 things the Apple Watch isn't.

The Apple Watch battery is great. It lasts me all day and then some. Yesterday I wore it all day and I ended the day with 68% battery left. I use my watch for directions, text messages, phone calls and more. I call that functional. They are pricey. I'll give you that, but please actually try out devices before you assume they suck.
 
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ArcaneDevice

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2003
762
179
outside the crazy house, NC
I owned a FitBit, a Jawbone and a Nike Gear. I junked all those, and wear an Apple Watch because it's so much better. Battery life is irrelevant. It lasts all day and is charging on my nightstand every night.

...

The Apple Watch is so much better in every way.

So if it's on a nightstand charging how is an Apple Watch tracking your sleep pattern and RHR? If the battery needs charging almost every day how is it both a non-issue and "better in every way" because clearly it isn't.

It might have a good enough battery for a "smart watch" but when compared to dedicated fitness devices which are also platform agnostic it doesn't hold up at all. And when compared to something like a Fenix 3 the Apple Watch is absolutely pitiful in every regard from a sports and fitness perspective.

So better in every way? No, not even close to an accurate statement.
 
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driceman

macrumors 6502
Mar 13, 2012
313
185
I like my Apple Watch! Going running without my phone (but with Bluetooth earphones) is convenient, its fitness features and text notifications are both useful yet unobtrusive, and I like being able to quickly get basic information (the time, my work schedule, map directions) off of it without hunting through my phone. Battery has never lasted less than a day, and I plug in all my stuff every night anyway so it's never been an issue for me personally. Oh, and Apple Pay's at its fastest and most convenient on the Watch.

There are certainly some improvements that could be made. Not everyone remembers to plug their stuff in overnight, so better battery life (that could make it through 2-3 days) would be a nice step. I think the Watch looks pretty good in conjunction with a suit or dress shirt, but otherwise seems a tad bulky- gen 2 could use some thinning down. Being a gen 1 device, the Watch is unsurprisingly a little laggy at times, so improved performance is a must. And while I personally don't consider it a #1 priority over the things I mentioned above, I'd like to see them release one that doesn't require the iPhone to be in close proximity to get texts and map directions.

Apple has dropped the ball a few times in recent years. They need to make the iPad into a more powerful device to get people to consider it a more viable computing platform and actually buy it, and my free trial with Apple Music did nothing but convince me that I shouldn't use it until they work out a LOT of bugs. But we should also give them credit when they deserve it: the Apple Watch is a pretty darn good first gen product. Give it a generation or two and people will be wondering how they lived without it.
 
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Considering how FitBit has been making wearable fitness trackers since 2008 (yes for 8 years!) and sells them at price points ranging from $50 and up, I'm not surprised.

My feelings towards my apple watch have wavered up and down since I got it, but ultimately the trajectory has been up. My last couple months with the watch have probably been my favorite (partly due to the fantastic app, HeartWatch). Sure it's not perfect. I wish it were faster, I wish it had GPS, I wish the HRM was more accurate (mostly during weightlifting), and battery life could always be better. Honestly though battery life bothers me very little. I wear my watch to track my sleep and even still I usually only charge my watch about 45-60 minutes a day and battery life never dips below 40% (granted my use case is usual because I keep it in airplane mode for ~10 hours a day for work)
 
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