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Can Apple Push Past Fitbit?

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apple vs fitbit

Can Apple Push Past Fitbit?

Aug 28 2015, 09.30am GMT


Fitbit has been dominating the wearables market for some time by tapping into the increasing awareness of the importance of exercise and general fitness as part of the modern lifestyle.

These wearable devices, allow fitness enthusiasts, from the casual jogger to the serious runner on the one hand and the social gym junkie to the serious weightlifters on the other, to monitor a plethora of data about their bodies and vital functions.

The top of the range Fitbit wrist wearable, the Fitbit Surge, which is described as an activity tracker, does not run multiple apps like an Apple Smartwatch, but rather tells you all you need to know about your state of fitness, and of course the time. The Apple Watch, on the other hand, does all the fitness tracking in addition to all the apps available, turning it into a wrist mini-computer.

Market researcher IDC released its latest wearables report on Thursday, headlining the fact that Apple made its debut appearance in the wearables market report, coming in at number 2 below Fitbit. Fitbit shipped 4.4 million units in the second quarter of 2015 while debutante Apple, which released its smartwatch in April, shipped 3.6 million units in the same period.

The growth of this market segment is staggering with a total of 18.1 million wearable units shipped in Q2, an increase of 223.2% over the 5.6 million shipped in the same period last year.

The IDC forecasts a total wearables market of 45.7 million items for 2015, growing to 126.1 million units by 2019. The market researcher defines “wearables” as wearable computing devices.

“Anytime Apple enters a new market, not only does it draw attention to itself, but to the market as a whole,” noted Ray Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “Its participation benefits multiple players and platforms within the wearable ecosystem, and ultimately drives total volumes higher. Apple also forces other vendors - especially those that have been part of this market for multiple quarters - to re-evaluate their products and experiences. Fairly or not, Apple will become the stick against which other wearable are measured, and competing vendors need to stay current or ahead of Apple. Now that Apple is officially a part of the wearable market, everyone will be watching to see what other wearables devices it decides to launch, leaving Apple poised to become the next market leader.” 

Apple’s wearables range, besides the smartwatches, includes fitness bands, smart glasses and a selection of clothing has made a big statement with the introduction of the Apple Watch attracting attention to its entire wearables offering.

IDC also reports that there are nagging doubts as to whether wearables will eventually become essential parts of everyday living in the same way that mobile phones and now smartphones as well as tablets have become must - have items. Apple hasn’t divulged figures for its Apple Watch sales, but speculation is that the numbers have not met expectations.

Second quarter 2015 figures from IDC show that the wearables market was dominated by Fitbit with a 24.3% market share followed by Apple with 19.9%, Chinese wearables manufacturer Xiaomi with a 17.1% in third place followed by Garmin with 3.9% and then Samsung with 3.3% of the market.

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