“There has been a sea change within the wearables industry. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple looks to have grabbed the wearables unit sales crown from Fitbit this past holiday season,” Neil Cybart writes for Above Avalon. “It’s time to begin thinking about wearables not just as standalone devices for the wrist, but rather platforms containing a number of products designed for different parts of the body. In this environment, Apple has become the new wearables leader.”

“After initially positioning Apple Watch as a mini iPhone on the wrist, Apple changed strategies last year in an effort to close the unit sales gap between Fitbit and Apple Watch. Management shifted Apple Watch marketing more towards health & fitness while lowering the entry-level price and expanding the product line to include more fitness-oriented Watches,” Cybart writes. “Fitbit had an early November surprise announcement. The company disclosed a sudden deterioration in customer demand in 3Q16, and the negative trends had continued into October. The slowdown caught Fitbit off guard. Management was forced to issue very weak financial guidance for the upcoming holiday shopping season. More worrying, management didn’t seem to know what was driving the sudden decline in demand. While Apple Watch was a prime suspect, Fitbit has never publicly viewed Apple as a competitive threat.”

Apple Watch Nike+ with with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

Apple Watch Nike+ with with built-in GPS and water resistance to 50 meters

 
“Despite lowering sales expectations, Fitbit still ended up missing its holiday sales forecast. The company hit a brick wall in terms of sales growth. Demand for Fitbit products completely evaporated at the end of the year with the company seeing a 21% decline in unit sales in 4Q16. Just one year earlier, Fitbit had reported 55% unit sales growth,” Cybart writes. “Apple reported record Apple Watch sales in 4Q16.”

“On a sell-through basis, Fitbit may have been able to just squeak by Apple Watch to retain the title of best-selling wearables company over the holidays. However, there is still a missing piece to the discussion,” Cybart writes. “The definition of wearables has changed. This past holiday season saw the introduction of AirPods, Apple’s second wearables product.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has built and continues to build out the only real wearables platform while the also-rans, wannabes, and roadkill struggle to build salable bands and/or stupidwatches sans ecosystems of which to speak.

SEE ALSO:
Apple Watch sales hit all-time high while Fitbit stumbles – March 2, 2017
The Apple Watch is winning – March 2, 2017
Apple Watch had massive holiday quarter; took nearly 80% share of total smartwatch revenue – February 10, 2017
The Apple Watch ‘WOW’ moment – February 3, 2017
Apple Watch dominates with 63% of worldwide smartwatch market – February 2, 2017
Apple smashes Street; iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch set all-time records – January 31, 2017
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: Pebble is dead – December 7, 2016
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: ‘Microsoft Band’ wearable is dead – October 4, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple Watch Series 2: It’s time to jump in – September 27, 2016
Ars Technica reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Great experience with very few hiccups’ – September 22, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s watchOS 3: Quicker, easier, and more useful – September 21, 2016
CNET reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘The smooth wrist companion it was always meant to be’ – September 14, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Apple Watch finds its purpose in life’ – September 14, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple Watch Series 2: There’s something effortlessly cool about it – September 14, 2016
Apple Watch Series 2: Apple refocuses its smartwatch – September 12, 2016