None of the fitness wearables figured out how to beat Apple Watch

“In the absence of Apple’s wearable, fitness makers like Jawbone, Fitbit, Withings and others have seen a boon of popularity as they race to tell the world that wearables are here to stay,” Owen Williams writes for The Next Web.

“It’s been a golden time of opportunity for these new companies to try set their own bar, since nobody had already done it for them, but now their time is limited,” Williams writes. “With Apple’s Watch now on the horizon, it seems to me that these companies are now simply living on borrowed time.”

“Wearables that exclusively perform basic fitness activities aren’t here to stay for long. A new class of devices, like the Apple Watch, that can track fitness and perform other interesting tasks right on your wrist are on their way to shake up the market,” Williams writes. “It simply doesn’t make sense for the majority of people to buy a dedicated wearable for simply tracking steps or how far their bike ride goes. Fitness wearables have exploded in popularity, but I’d argue this is only because of smart marketing and the absence of Apple’s Watch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The bloodbath looms.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]

19 Comments

  1. I ride a bicycle. I ride a bicycle a lot. I have a Garmin GPS device that I use when I ride. Unlike my iPhone, it designed to mount on my bicycle and it is water proof. It connects to my iPhone via Bluetooth. My speed, cadence and wrist heart rate monitor connect wirelessly to my Garmin via ANT+.

    I would love to replace the heart rate monitor on my wrist with an Apple Watch, but unfortunately, the Apple Watch does not support ANT+.

    1. I do triathlon and use my Garmin everyday. The newer versions are starting to use Bluetooth SE, but I do find them less reliable than Ant+. I have been trying for a long time to use my phones or iPod touch for this as well, especially cycling as the bigger screen is perfect. The problem with iPhones and iPod touch is when fully utilising GPS, bluetooth and mobile data battery life is abysmal, the device runs out before I finish my workout or race. Even if the watch can last more than a few hours of intense use, you have to use it with a phone and that does not, which makes the watch useless for this purpose.

  2. By volume, Android is the most popular OS and there are more Andriod phones than Apple phones. So there is, and probably will continue to be more non Apple wearables – they just wont be very smart or offer design and flexibility of use.
    Apple will just take the top tier as they have done in many markets before.
    So I dont see them all turning turtle upon release of the watch.

    1. I highly doubt there are more Android phones than Apple phones. I work in an office of 14 and there is one android user. I’m pretty sure that’s not a coincidence. The ratio is close to that in most businesses.

      1. There will be many times more Android phones than iPhones. In large areas of the world the iPhone share is very small and in those where it is more popular, it is still usually less than Android.

    2. “A new class of devices, like the Apple Watch”

      This author, like you, thinks there will be a “category of wearables” whereas there will be the Apple Watch, and nothing else will be remotely successful.

      What Android fanbois forget is that Android’s popularity is entirely dependant upon carrier subsidies. No iPad also-ran is a remote challenge to the iPad, no iPod clone remotely challenged the iPod. Does anyone know the name of any non iPod? Any non iPad?

      No one will buy non Apple so-called “smartwatches”, there will be the Apple Watch and there will be nothing else.

    3. Max, in reality these is no definitive number of how many Android SMARTPHONES are actually in use. Android may indeed be more popular, but no where near what is reported in the media (and absorbed by the general public). Those 80% + Android numbers are shipments to retailers, not actual sales to customers. Apple is the only smartphone vendor who reports actual sales to customers.

  3. Again, as was the iPod, as was the iPhone – Apple has studied the landscape well and knows where the competition is weak. Apple has the software and hardware and passion to go beyond expectations with a track record by giving consumers more of what they never knew they wanted.

  4. It’s a pretty safe bet that Apple will dominate the profit share in wearables, not sure about the marketshare.

    With the AppleWatch starting at $300, there will be big market for simple, sub-$200 fitness devices–not saying there will be big profits, just a lot of options.
    Until Apple manages to move the AppleWatch to $200, make it waterproof, and less dependent on the iPhone, that market will flourish–again not saying there will be big profits, just a lot of options.

    1. Can’t see them going there.

      The watch is a fashion item for the well heeled for health monitoring not a scuba diving, kite flying, uniformed,marathon running shark wrestler.

      Not because they couldn’t but more because the money is in conspicuous consumption. Just look at who is heading up Retail now.

    2. There will not be a “big market” where a lot of people buy non Apple watches. This is a huge mistake that you, the author, Max, and a lot of Apple nay sayers are going to faceplant.

      The “lessons” from heavily carrier subsidized Android won’t apply here. There is no market for carrier subsidized smart watches, the “competition” will get bulldozed. Anyone foolish enough to buy an also-ran device will find that their ugly heavy brick will be orphaned and abandoned by the manufacturer and software makers within less than 2 years.

      1. Is there anything sillier than this strident, totalitarian fanboyism? The commenter just noted that there will still be a market for sub-Apple Watch products, which is true. Apple doesn’t need to completely destroy all competition in order to be wildly successful, you know. But if thinking that makes up for some of your own personal issues, then go for it.

      2. Nonsense. The Apple market for the watch will start in the top 5% income band and trickle down will be slow.
        Plenty of less wealthy folk will by less capable or single function devices .

  5. What is needed is a gadget to monitor the financial health of companies not named Apple that make fitness monitors.

    They may be looking healthy at the moment, but I have a feeling that they will soon be very ill.

  6. So how were these manufacturers supposed to “beat” the Apple Watch when it hasn’t even been released yet? I won’t deny that the Apple Watch will be a huge success and I hope it leads a revolution in wearable devices, but this headline and article are absurd.

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