Fitbit and Samsung top market vendors for trackers and smartwatches

Activity trackers outselling smartwatches four to one – report

A research firm has said that activity trackers are far more popular than smartwatches among consumers, outselling them four to one.

Market tracker ABI Research stated that over 2.35 million activity tracker devices and 0.51 million smartwatches were shipped during Q1 2014.

It added its expectation that 10 million activity trackers would be shipped during 2014, with only seven million smartwatches forecasted to be shipped during the same time.

“Activity trackers are currently the most viable consumer electronics wearable device category, because they have a clear use case that cannot be matched by smartphones, in contrast to smartwatches,” said Nick Spencer, senior practice director at ABI.

“End users have been happy to ditch their watches and use smartphones to tell the time, so extending smartphone functions to the watch is a weak use case and retrograde step.”

The report also looked at which vendors were seeing the most success in their respective category, with Fitbit and Samsung leading the activity tracker and smartwatch markets respectively.

Garmin, Nike and Jawbone were also among the top vendors for activity trackers, while Sony, Pebble and Casio followed Samsung in the smartwatch race.

“We shouldn’t dismiss smartwatches, which are an evolving and, if you believe in reincarnation, a nascent category,” Spencer added.

“Smartwatches will develop rapidly in 2014 and 2015, with hybrid activity tracker/smartwatches soon to hit the market, more specialised components being developed and, most importantly, the use case improving through a growing applications ecosystem.

“As the value proposition of smartwatches increases, however, the price will still need to decrease to balance with end-user expectations.”

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