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Fitness Bands Reaching their Peak Growth Period

by Steven Waltzer | Nov 15, 2016

The global fitness band market last year was again the largest segment in the wearable devices industry. The staying power of ftiness bands over smartwatches has proved stronger than originally anticipated as smartwatch makers have been late to emphasize the fitness angle in their marketing (such as the Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+) and put more rugged/sports centric designs into the top of their lineups. Global fitness band sales will see sustained growth of +17% in 2016, will level out in 2017/2018, and be in decline from 2019 onwards as smartwatches become more popular and start to more aggressively market towards fitness-focused consumers (such as the Apple Watch Series 2 Nike+).  

Just as featurephones were overtaken by smartphones, fitnessbands will pale in comparison to the enhanced functionality and appeal of smartwatches, primarily due to an ecosystem of 3rd party apps that will increasingly treat such devices as connected nodes rather than constrained phone accessories. Smartwatches will start to cannibalize fitness bands in mature markets in 2017, with the effects of this dynamic in full force by 2018 / 2019.

Demand is being driven by both entry-level models in emerging markets like India, and smartwatch-like devices (unable to run apps), such as the Fitbit Blaze in mature markets like the US. Leading brands across the category include Fitbit, Samsung, Xiaomi and others.

Our recent report forecasts global fitness band sales by 6 regions, including North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific, from 2012 to 2022, and is available for clients here.

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