Fitness trackers are still dominating among the population of gym rats and health fiends; however, the Apple Watch is coming for its throne.
According to a new report by Business Insider Intelligence, more and more people are ditching the traditional (and less expensive) fitness trackers for flashier smartwatch alternatives, specifically the Apple Watch.
In 2014, tracking bands made up about 53 percent of wearable tech shipments; while it is estimated that in 2015, they’ll only make up for about 48 percent, and only 42 percent in 2020. This forecast isn’t good news for brands like Fitbit or Jawbone, which have pretty much owned the fitness-band category for the past few years. And with the release of niche products like the Apple Watch Sport, the brands have even more to reason to worry.
So what exactly did the report conclude? Simply put, consumers want their wearable tech devices to do more than just monitor their heart rate or track the number of miles jogged. About 27 percent of those surveyed said they were more interested in the Apple Watch than any other wearable device because of its added functionality. The information is an L for fitness bands with very specific features, which may not appeal to consumers who are looking for an all-in-one option. But that doesn’t mean fitness bands aren’t going down without a fight.
In effort to expand their reach and maintain relevance, several trackers have been revamped with a more fashion-conscious spin. The report refers to the Tory Burch-designed Fitbit band that was sold at Nordstroms. But how effective will these designer brand versions really be?
If fitness trackers really want to compete with smartwatches, they’ll have to completely revamp their functionality. And it won’t be cheap. Maybe their low cost and no-frills design will be enough to keep them afloat; however, judging by the new report, it won’t be enough to keep them on top.
You can read the full data and see the complete charts of the report at Business Insider’s website.