IoT Ecosystem Blog

HealthBox from Under Armour & HTC Wisely Targets a Sticky, High TLV Segment

by Cliff Raskind | Jan 06, 2016

It's a dog-eat-dog world making Android phones these days and HTC could definitely use a new engine for growth. HTC has deservedly garnered attention with their VR linkup with Valve -- but I'd nearly written of them off for wrist-worn wearables after the HTC Grip seemed to fizzle out last year.

Enter the UA HealthBox featuring HTC wearable devices.

UA HTC Health Bos

Game On! This kit is squarely targeted at a segment that takes their fitness and/or weight loss goals seriously -- and is willing to part with US$400 for a slickly packaged 3-piece set that includes a waterproof fitnessband, a strap on heart monitor and WiFi connected digital scale.  As with the Grip, HTC is once again wisely sharing the stage with leading fitness app and portal player, Under Armour. This time giving up even more of it for a more complete hardware + software solution that tracks activity, exercise, sleep, weight and body fat. Under Armour also just took the wraps off compatible new smart footwear. At US$150, the "SpeedForm Gemini 2 Record Equipped" tracks time and date, duration, distance and splits without the runner needing to tote any other device.

Niche? Yes. But aiming for a devoted, motivated segment that is potentially fiercely loyal to a solution able to best the closed Fitbit ecosystem, is a smart move. Such buyers are far less inclined to relegate their fitnessbands to the sock drawer, and possess the kind of customer TLV (Total Lifetime Value) that marketers drool over.

Indeed, I predict that leading fitness portals like Under Armour Record and even Fitbit are on a collision course with major health and wellness magazines/publications that have invested in online assets (read: Mens Health, Fitness, Self, Shape, etc.).  It remains to be seen if this will take the form of partnerships (potentially exclusive) or acquisitions, but supplementing the user's personal wellness metrics, goals and recommendations with contextually tailored content, articles and of course ads is where this space is headed..The synergies are clear as both are trying ever harder to keep users engaged and coming back for something new, fresh and personally relevant.


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