The Most Popular Wearable Fitness Tech Right Now
In 2015 British fitness enthusiasts purchased an estimated 3 million fitness trackers, a 118% increase on the sales figures for 2014. This means that over 14% of the UK population now owns a device capable of fitness tracking. Of the entire wearable tech market in the UK, fitness trackers made up well over 60% of all devices sold. Fitness focussed devices are holding their positon as the primary driving force for the purchase of wearable technology.
The steep rise in popularity has been driven by lowering prices, ever improving designs and most importantly the increased level of functionality. As the market for trackers has grown so has the number of different manufacturer brands supplying them. Most major electronics brands have their own line of wearable fitness trackers and there are many brands including the popular Fitbit, that are dedicated entirely to fitness tech. With an increasingly diverse range of products available, which are proving to be the most popular choices amongst consumers right now?
Founded in 2007 and publicly listed on the stock market in 2015, the brand seems to go from strength to strength. It has an estimated 85% share of the US fitness tracker market. In the final quarter of 2015 their global sales numbers dominated every other competitor achieving a 7% growth in sales over this period. This is only expected to grow even more after the introduction of the Blaze and Alta products.
They are the most popular fitness technology company but which of their products is in high demand? According to company officials over 75% of sales were made up of new products. The most popular product based on Amazon sales and online reviews has to be the Charge. It is the mid-range offering from the brand and the cost is exceptionally reasonable. It will measure steps taken, distance, calories, sleep patterns, time and provides caller ID linked to your smartphone. If you wanted a heart rate monitor you could pay a little more for the HR edition. It is a great all-rounder and its stylish looks only add to the mass appeal it has already experienced.
Despite the fact that in January they only managed to raise $165 million in capital after receiving a company valuation that was half that of their original fundraising round. Jawbone are still one of the leading manufacturers of fitness trackers having almost a 15% share in the global marketplace. Their main range called ‘Up’ is still highly desirable despite increased competition from Fitbit.
The Jawbone Up24 model is looking like their most popular product. As with most of the Jawbone range the design is arguably much more attractive than competitors. It also features many of the same specifications as its biggest competitors including things like sleep tracking, step counting and calories. Despite the much lower market share overall from Jawbone, they are still a very serious contender to the Fitbit range.
You may be wondering how this company is on this list if you consider UK exposure only, but on the international stage the brand is more successful than Jawbone. The Chinese market has as always expected, has enormous potential with 1 billion potential consumers and this brand completely dominates this market. They have had a year on year sales increase of 800%. 97% of these sales came from within the Chinese market but expansion overseas is looking more and more likely.
Their main offering called the Mi Band is well and truly the best budget fitness tracker on the market. It features activity tracking, step counting, calories burned, alarms, sleep monitoring and incoming call alerts and the price is unbelievable. It costs at most £20 but some retailers have them for as low as £12. With this kind of functionality at this price there is absolutely no reason they cannot increase their global market share.
These three companies arguably dominate the sector. There are still other options in the wearable fitness technology market including respect brand Garmin, XTC, Fossil and the constant evolution and growing popularity Samsung devices. It does however look like the dominance of Fitbit will continue in terms of the UK market for 2016. Extra investment in the company following an IPO could lead to a near on UK market monopoly.
That said, other manufactures will continue to raise their game and become increasingly price competitive. Particularly brands like Samsung have the capacity to produce effective fitness tracker products built within more well-rounded products including their smartwatch range, so an exciting space to keep an eye on.
Published on 20 Mar 2016
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