Basic Smart Trackers Such as Fitbit on the Decline, Smartwatches on the Way Up
Smartwatches have been accused of being gimmicks, being a small device on your wrist which pings you with notifications and in some cases can also analyze your heart rate or movement. Don’t forget the price tag: a “decent” smartwatch (in the sense of it having a heart rate monitor, good processor, AMOLED panel and so on) will set you back around $200. The Huawei Watch, long-touted the king of Android Wear devices, sat at a preposterous $350 at launch. With the feature set mentioned above, many would consider the early adopters of such a device crazy. The industry seemed doomed to fail from the start. Predictions of greatness for the platform seemed largely unfounded, with the “year of the smartwatch” never coming. Major manufacturers dropped out of the industry late last year.
However, quarter 2 of 2017 seems to be telling a different story. A report by IDC shows that smartwatches are on the rise, and what’s more, basic trackers such as Garmin and Fitbit are on the decline. Smartwatches are climbing in market share.
“The transition towards more intelligent and feature-filled wearables is in full swing”
– Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers
With the upcoming Diesel, Michael Kors, Movado, Tommy Hilfiger, Swarovski smartwatches (and many others), there has been a huge increase in this industry from fashion companies. This is likely due to one of the main attractions to having a watch, which is the fashionable aspect. They are luxury commodities, and so the introduction of high-profile fashion brands can be enough to attract many to the industry. With exposure to the industry, this can correspond to the increased attention given to competitors. Xiaomi and Apple are currently leading the charge, with Fitbit and Garmin’s market share declining and Fossil’s spiking massively. The advertising from the larger companies illuminates the industry as a whole, and probably has led to this massive increased interest in the smartwatch industry. Hopefully, as the industry grows we should start to see more and more improvements to both the software and the hardware.