Apple overtakes Fitbit to become world's largest wearables vendor, study says [u]

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited May 2017
Citing a boom in Apple Watch sales, market research firm Strategy Analytics in a report released Thursday said Apple overtook Fitbit to become the world's largest wearables vendor for the first quarter of 2017.




According to Strategy Analytics data, Apple sold an estimated 3.5 million Apple Watch units during the three-month period ending in March, up 59 percent from 2.2 million units sold during the same time last year. The performance was good enough to capture 16 percent of the global market.

Helping Apple secure the number one spot was Fitbit's massive year-over-year decline. In the first quarter of 2016, the firm shipped 4.5 million units, a figure that fell to 2.9 million units in March. The company is apparently feeling the effects of a trend toward full-fledged smartwatch devices like Apple Watch and products marketed by Samsung.

Fitbit previously commanded the wearables sector with relatively low-cost fitness bands and related accessories dedicated to tracking steps, counting calories and monitoring user heart rate. Higher end devices in the company's catalog incorporate GPS run tracking and larger displays for interfacing with a host smartphone. That could soon change, as images leaked earlier this week claimed to show a Fitbit smartwatch allegedly slated for release this fall.

"Fitbit shipped 2.9 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, falling a huge 36 percent annually from 4.5 million in Q1 2016," said Cliff Raskind, director at Strategy Analytics. "Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple, due to slowing demand for its fitnessbands (sic) and a late entry to the emerging smartwatch market. Fitbit's shipments, revenue, pricing and profit are all shrinking at the moment and the company has a major fight on its hands to recover this year."

Fitbit's sluggish quarter pushed Xiaomi into second place. With only two products in its quiver -- the Mi Band and Mi Band 2 -- Xiaomi managed to ship an estimated 3.4 million units to take 15.5 percent of the market for the first three months of 2016.

The Strategy Analytics report comes on the heels of Apple's earnings report for its second fiscal quarter of 2017. Discussing Apple's results in a conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said Apple Watch sales nearly doubled from 2016. Together with AirPods and Beats headphones sales, Apple's wearables business is now the size of a Fortune 500 company, Cook said.

Update: Fitbit has issued a response to the report, saying it sold 3 million devices in the first quarter.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    acejax805acejax805 Posts: 107member
    I'm really enjoying my Apple Watch.
    lito_lupenalostkiwiGeorgeBMacflashfan207anton zuykovchasmwatto_cobrabrakken
  • Reply 2 of 31
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,740member
    Simon Sinek in his TED talk on 'How Great Leaders Inspire Action', in which he uses Steve Jobs as an example, talks about 'the law of the diffusion of innovation'. He claims that to achieve mass-market penetration, a product needs to gain acceptance with more than the 2.5% of the market made up of innovators and the 13.5% made up of early adopters, in other words, approximately 16% of the market. If so, a couple of companies are at an interesting juncture. (Of course, Apple's wearable isn't strictly in the same market as Fitbit's).

    The link: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action
    fotoformatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 31
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,740member
    acejax805 said:
    I'm really enjoying my Apple Watch.
    So am I and those others I know personally who have one too.
    lito_lupenalostkiwiGeorgeBMacchasmwatto_cobrasteveau
  • Reply 4 of 31
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,241member
    If that's true it is more than incredible as the ASP for competing wrist-worn fitness devices is a fraction of the Apple Watch's ASP. To sell more of a more expensive product indicates a significant product success.

    Unlike smart phones which are essential modern devices, one can easily get by without a fitness tracker/smart watch - logically people who do seek them out will be more discerning, and less likely to buy junky options (especially considering the wrist's location and association with projected wealth.) Those junky options were always drawer fillers, they never took on a trojan horse role for fitbit's more expensive offerings. It would not surprise me at all if cheap fitbit devices were the entry point for people that go on to purchase apple watches. (Anecdotally I have seen this transition several times, they start on a cheap fitness tracker, then if they "like it and use it" they switch to the more capable apple watch.)

    As for fitbit's decline in sales, that was expected. Cheap brands were eating their low end 'gifting' (read: junk) product and those happy with their fitbit had little reason to purchase again - there have never been any legitimate upgrades to the fitbit line. This is entirely opposite to the apple watch which sees significant iterative improvements.

    Fitbit's technology has always been far behind that of every major player in the market (motorola, lg, samsung, etc) they owe their entire legitimacy to the high volume of sales made on their less-than-$100 fitness tracker. The suggestion of an "early lead" was mistaken, as they were already at their technological apex.

    edited May 2017 radarthekatpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 31
    lito_lupenalito_lupena Posts: 116member
    iqatedo said:
    acejax805 said:
    I'm really enjoying my Apple Watch.
    So am I and those others I know personally who have one too.
    same here. can't wait for the next iteration!
    GeorgeBMacchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 31
    akamine_jrakamine_jr Posts: 11unconfirmed, member
    I have been wearing the AW2 for a couple of days now. It far exceeded my expectations: it works flawlessly, it's beautiful, the battery lasted almost two days - and I have played with it a lot, mind you. My only concern is if Apple will continue to support AW2 in, say, five years from now. 
    GeorgeBMacchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 31
    I've so far think I have only ever seen one or two people wearing an Apple Watch.  I don't really look for people wearing one though, but it is something I would easily notice as I am a nerdy guy.  Maybe you see more in other areas of the country. 
  • Reply 8 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    This must leave the naysayers grinding their teeth. Over on MacRumors one hater reached so far as to say selling 3.5 Apple Watches in a world of billions of people was a failure by any definition. Yep, they are literally losing their minds over Apple’s successes. 
    pscooter63Rayz2016lostkiwiGeorgeBMacanton zuykovStrangeDayschasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,989member
    I have enjoyed my Gen 0 Watch for over a year now. Battery life is quite good with 50% charge left most nights when it goes on the charging pad. HomeKit functions via Siri very useful at home. With my iPhone 6 on the table the Watch stays connected all over the house without issue. Messages, notifications, calendar all very useful to me.
    lostkiwiGeorgeBMacchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 31
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,060member
    I've so far think I have only ever seen one or two people wearing an Apple Watch.
    When the first generation was released, I personally encountered a new wearer at the rate of about one every six weeks.

    By the time the second gen came around, I was seeing a new one about every three weeks.

    Over the past couple of months, I'm noticing "new" arms at about the rate of two a week.  And I don't live in a particularly affluent area of the country, either (though we are graced with an Apple Store).
    chasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 31
    kevin keekevin kee Posts: 1,291member
    I have seen more people wearing AW recently, although I don't normally pay attention to their wrist. That proved there should be more AW in the wild now. I noticed Airpods easier though (because it's on their head?) than AW - and that too is increasing in numbers. But I live in a very well known big city, so if anything, people here should be very technological aware.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 31
    gmgravytraingmgravytrain Posts: 881member
    I don't understand this. If AppleWatch is considered such a huge failure then what about all the other companies' wearable products. Is it something like, "All wearables are failures, so why does anyone bother making them?" It seems more to me like, "Only AppleWatch is a huge failure because Apple should be able to instantly turn any product into a successful product." I honestly don't know anyone who wears an AppleWatch and many of those people certainly do own iPhones. I'm still wearing a Garmin Vivofit 1 because that's what suits me. I can afford a more expensive wearable but the Vivofit does for me what I need it to do and I only have to change the battery once a year.

    The media or Wall Street are really killers when it comes to low-selling products. Can't a company sell a product that isn't a huge hit simply because that's what the company is interested in? I can't really afford a Tesla and most people can't. It's not the most convenient product for current users. However, I'd hate to see Tesla closing down or going out of business because I think it's great that some company is trying hard to change daily transportation. I'm not saying anything like, "Musk is stupid for trying to sell electric cars" or "What a waste of time." Someone has a dream so why try to crush it because I don't entirely agree with a pure electric car. To me, hybrids make more sense, but that's just my dream. Still, an all-electric vehicle has some appeal to me.

    Apple should keep trying to sell AppleWatch and keep improving it so maybe it will become a product that more people want in the future. If Apple ever solves the blood sugar measurement problem it will really make a huge difference to those who need some device like that. It really sucks some people are so negative about things because they don't fully understand other people's dreams or goals.
    edited May 2017 pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 31
    gmgravytraingmgravytrain Posts: 881member
    lkrupp said:
    This must leave the naysayers grinding their teeth. Over on MacRumors one hater reached so far as to say selling 3.5 Apple Watches in a world of billions of people was a failure by any definition. Yep, they are literally losing their minds over Apple’s successes. 
    Someone saying something like that is quite ignorant of consumers' desires.  First of all, a person needs to have an iPhone and secondly, AppleWatch needs to be charged every night.  I personally consider that quite an inconvenience.  I honestly don't see a lot of people wearing any type of device on their wrists.  Most of my life I never wore a watch until the first battery-powered watches came out.
  • Reply 14 of 31
    dedgeckodedgecko Posts: 169member
    I fully intend to pick up a Series 2 AW and the gen 2 AirPods, just waiting for a sale/availability.  The iPad three is what sucked me into Apple's Garden of Eden, and there's simply no turning back for me.  Apple would have to do a 180° flip on nearly every policy they've had in place for the last 5-6 years before I'd ever consider walking away from them. 

    /AppleLifer
    lostkiwibrucemcwatto_cobraiqatedo
  • Reply 15 of 31
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    What's the ASP for the Apple Watch? $350? With 3.5 million units that would be $1.225 billion. How much revenue did Rolex do in the same time frame?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 31
    bestkeptsecretbestkeptsecret Posts: 4,131member
    lkrupp said:
    This must leave the naysayers grinding their teeth. Over on MacRumors one hater reached so far as to say selling 3.5 Apple Watches in a world of billions of people was a failure by any definition. Yep, they are literally losing their minds over Apple’s successes. 

    Good thing I don't visit that toxic hellstew.
    pscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 31
    dachardachar Posts: 330member
    Here is one reason why Fitbit is loosing its market. This is my son's Fitbit after 15 months that literally fell apart:


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 31
    Incredible that a £269-£399 apple watch can outsell an £8 xiaomi, however even comparing them as equals in the first place is ridiculous.
  • Reply 19 of 31
    iqatedo said:
    Simon Sinek in his TED talk on 'How Great Leaders Inspire Action', in which he uses Steve Jobs as an example, talks about 'the law of the diffusion of innovation'. He claims that to achieve mass-market penetration, a product needs to gain acceptance with more than the 2.5% of the market made up of innovators and the 13.5% made up of early adopters, in other words, approximately 16% of the market. If so, a couple of companies are at an interesting juncture. (Of course, Apple's wearable isn't strictly in the same market as Fitbit's).

    The link: https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action
    You might be misinterpreting diffusion of innovation. The first 2.5% of people to adopt are innovators, the next 13.5% are early adopters. Mass market adoption happens when the early majority then late majority enter the market. That's not to be confused with market share - sales/market size. Tesla could have 1%, 16% or 100% of the EV market but it doesn't affect when we've hit mass market penetration. There is usually a shake out of competitors but that's different 
  • Reply 20 of 31
    freeperfreeper Posts: 77member
    Android fans once claimed that the Apple Watch launch would be good because it would raise awareness of the existence of smartwatches, leading to increases in sales of Android Wear. Hasn't happened. Didn't happen for Samsung's terrible Tizen watches either. And now some Android OEMs like Motorola and Huawei (who predicted Android Wear's failure from the beginning but pitched in with a couple of models anyway) are saying that they are exiting the Android Wear scene. Sony never officially announced that they are doing so, but never followed up their initial Android Wear device. Xiaomi, Oppo, OnePlus, Acer and HTC never launched Android Wear devices in the first place and have no intentions to. Other than legacy watch makers who came out with Android Wear models, the only new company offering an Android Wear device is ZTE, and they are only doing it because Verizon requested one from them as a carrier exclusive to be bundled as package deals with phones (though the option to buy them separately does exist). And curiously, virtually none of the new Android Wear models have NFC to support Android Pay, even though Apple and Samsung watches support mobile payments.

    So while the Apple Watch is slowly gaining momentum and has started to be a real generator for Apple, Android Wear has done nothing but lose money for Google and their partners and is locked in a death spiral. The last hope - Android Wear 2.0 - came and went and didn't make a bit of difference. And this is despite Android Wear preceding the Apple Watch by more than a year, and independent Android smartwatch efforts from Samsung and Sony - that weren't Google's Android Wear but were rather tablet Android loaded onto a watch - by more than 2 years.

    Google really blew it. They didn't advertise the platform, so even most Android device owners don't know that Android Wear exists. Their initial version of the product - voice remotes for your phone - was horrible. They never released phone or SMS apps customized for the watch - i.e. Hangouts or Voice apps that would work independently of the phone - and still haven't. They also failed to create a gateway tier of cheap Fitbit type devices that could have been a gateway to the platform for like $70 that would have only provided fitness tracking and notification mirroring features. They had the opportunity to do so by buying Jawbone - which has since gone belly up - but chose to be stubborn and fail. Oh well. For most of the population, smartwatch is going to be analogous to Apple Watch just as MP3 player basically meant iPod. That is the difference between a company that actually knows how to design and market products - Apple - and a company who really only knows search and ads in Google. Android Wear was designed around getting more people to use voice search to collect more voice search data. That is one reason why it was doomed from the start and you can just go from there.
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
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