Wearable technology has grown into a major segment of the portable electronics industry. Fitness trackers directly compete with the smartwatch market for wearable devices. Yet unlike smartwatches, which have seen a tumble in overall sales over the last year, fitness trackers have seen an overall market growth of 3.1% in the third quarter of 2016 over the third quarter of 2015. In fact, total shipment numbers reached 23 million in the third quarter of the year. All of this looks to set up the continued growth of the industry.
The Use of Fitness Trackers
Fitness trackers generally provide basic information health to the wearer. This can include heart rate, steps taken, calories burned as well as assist the wearer in meeting set health goals. Devices have grown increasingly sophisticated and accurate in the last year, allowing wearers to completely customize workouts while even allowing the installation of applications designed by third party developers. However, the majority of features come from pre-installed hardware and software.
Why the Increase in Sales
The summer months generally see an uptick in workout gear as individuals looking to spend more time outside, workout and drop weight. Due to this, it is natural to see an upswing in workout equipment this time of the year. However, the increase of sales over the previous third quarter is attributed to the development of newer models which are smaller, provide more features and often come at a similar price tag. Additionally, while fitness wearables directly compete with smartwatches, the price tag on fitness trackers generally comes in far lower than a smartwatch, yet provides many of the same workout features desired on smartwatch. Plus, most fitness trackers can work independently of a phone, while most smartwatches require a user to have their phone nearby in order to utilize the call, text and notification functions.
The Latest Releases
Fitbit remains a market leader in the industry. The latest offering from the company, the Charge 2, remains a bestselling device on the market today. Additionally, the Xiaomi’s Mi Band and Garmin both sell devices with growing sales numbers. However, on the flip side, Apple continues to struggle with its smartwatch, despite a recent second generation launch in mid-September. In fact, Apple has seen a 71% decrees in smartwatch sales since the previous year. Its counterpart Samsung though has seen a nearly 90% increase thanks to a handful of new fitness trackers from the company.