Massive Apple Watch threat looms over Fitbit IPO

“Wearable fitness device maker Fitbit intrigued investors late Thursday when it revealed stellar sales growth and profitability in its initial public offering prospectus with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,” Patrick Seitz writes for Investor’s Business Daily. “But with Apple’s Apple Watch and other smartwatches with health tracking features poised to cannibalize fitness band sales, Fitbit could face a difficult road ahead.”

“A report out this week from Technalysis Research predicts that smartwatches will begin eating into sales of fitness bracelets like those made by Fitbit starting this year. The report sees smartwatches passing fitness bands in dollar sales this year and unit sales next year,” Seitz writes. “”So much of the capabilities of those fitness bands is going to be integrated into smartwatches, and people aren’t going to buy both,” Technalysis analyst Bob O’Donnell told IBD. But Fitbit could respond by doing its own smartwatch, he said. ‘My guess is they’ll move into that category. You’ll see that evolution going forward.'”

MacDailyNews Take: Because so-called smartwatches have done oh-so-well without ecosystems.

“Worldwide fitness band sales are forecast to reach 20 million units in 2015, up 54% year over year. But the growth rate is predicted to slow to 40% in 2016, 21% in 2017, 18% in 2018 and 10% in 2019 before declining 11% in 2020, Technalysis said,” Seitz writes. “Meanwhile, smartwatch sales are seen hitting 19 million units worldwide this year, up 352% from 2014. Smartwatch unit sales are projected to grow 58% in 2016, 40% in 2017, 29% in 2018, 20% in 2019 and 18% in 2020.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Technalysis is forecasting unit sales of 77 million smartwatches and 39 million fitness bands in 2020; smartwatches will be a $13.5 billion annual market vs. $3.2 billion for fitness bands. We’ve iCal’ed this forecast to revisit in early 2021.


  1. I don’t see this market as having just one niche. So you get just one device. Nor do I see everyone wanting a smart watch when all they need is a fitness band of some variety.

    Meanwhile, from past experience, I expect the various niches within the market to be incessantly misrepresented within the TechTard press while the get a handle on what they’re attempting to talk about. Know what I mean? Seen that before? Ring a bell? Make senselessness? 😉


      1. You’re joking, right? The best way for me to raise unholy hell over at Ars Technica is for me to point out to an author that ALL ‘light’ is visible. If the author is talking about ‘invisible light’ they’ve blown their terminology.

        They then ALWAYS pull out their plastic dagger and stab me with ‘Then why is there the term “visible light”?! Huh?!” My reply is ‘Because some people like using redundant terms.’

        That’s all I care to say about the issue these days. It’s pointless arguing any further. You either know the definition of the word ‘light’ or you don’t. I can only take the horse to water.

        Every a fun subject. (0_o) Thanks Ben!

        1. I’m going to go with the author meaning ‘not-visible to the naked human eye’ so possibly ‘light’ in the infra-red or ultraviolet range visible to other living creatures. I’m leaning towards infra-red since it is a known ‘safe’ technology with low effects on human sensory organs.

          1. That’s a fair interpretation of ‘invisible light’. It’s common to hear ‘Infrared light’ or ‘ultraviolet light’. We know what’s meant and it’s not a big deal.

            I got flamed at Ars for pointing out that gamma radiation is definitely NOT ‘light’. The author argued at me up and down that I was some ignorant git.

            I, of course, being a goth/steam kid at heart, thoroughly enjoy the term ‘radiation’. It’s gamma radiation dude! That’s why it’s called ‘gamma rays’! “You’ve been radiated!” with light. Etc.

            1. I guess if you stretch the meaning of light to include any electro-magnetic wave that can be sensed with a visual organ of some kind and that visual organ had just the right ‘cone’ to ‘see’ gamma rays, then yes, gamma rays ARE light. 😀

            2. Just today I was discussing with a friend the concept of Earth ‘energy lines’. He used to have a handyman who claimed to be able to ‘see’ them. I am also reminded of a book one of my cousins lent me about the meaning of various ‘auras’ claimed to be visible by certain people, as in the aura surrounding human individuals. That too would apparently apply.

              As an aside, we were also talking about dousing rods and people who have claimed while under hypnosis to have been the victims of alien abduction. There was an amusingly related episode of ‘The Mentalist’ on the telly last night.

            3. Hmm. I wonder if those people were given Geordi’s VISOR, would they see the same image though possibly in another color?

              I seem to have a fan giving me single stars. 😀

            4. People need to lighten up. The phrase “visible light” is used in many a physics book. And “black light,” at the margins of “visible light”, is invisible.

            5. If you’ve studied General Semantics, as I have, you stick to strict terminology/symbology. But at least, as I already said above, we completely understand the wrong terminology of ‘visible light’, ‘black light’, ‘infrared light’, ‘ultraviolet light.’ And, as I also already said, where using ‘light’ is utterly ridiculous is when someone starts applying it to all the REST of the EM (electromagnetic) spectrum. That would include the ridiculous phrases:
              – radio light
              – microwave light
              – x-ray light
              – gamma light

              All EM is radiation. That’s my safe term to cover it all. Using ‘light’ to cover it all is plain old ignorance, aka bad science, of which we have a hellofalot these days. Science in particular requires strict terminology. Actual scientists never say ‘infrared light’ etc. They say ‘infrared radiation’ or another EM specific term.

              That’s the way it is. And yeah, you can see why this subject gets boring and depressing real fast. Arguing over strict semantics is 100% pointless. Stick to the strict meanings of the symbols we call ‘words’ and you’ll have no worries about being misunderstood or looking like a fake scientist.

            6. Speaking of radiation. I girlfriend of mine has beautiful porcelain skin and insists on trying to tan and I keep telling her to stop. I tell her that women spend $Billions trying to have skin like hers. For years, I’ve been nagging her to stop this tanning crap.

              Well, she recently said something negative about irradiated fruit.

              I said, “you won’t eat irradiated fruit, but you’ll irradiate your skin???!!!

              ftw, finally.

    1. wrong.

      smart watch (i.e. apple watch) sales are going to cannibalize each and every fitness band sale in very short order.

      don’t believe me? just run a PLUM analysis on the constellation of evolving technologies in the AAPL watch and adjust +- for BUN. As far as fitness bands are concerned, it’s game over.

      1. When I perform a Burger Assimilation I definitely prefer +BUN.

        I’ve never tried a PLUM BUN but I imagine it would be reasonably consumable.

        With regards to an ordinal regression PLUM procedure, could you please define your meaning of ‘BUN’? That’s an acronym outside of my realm of comprehension or experience. As long as it is made with yeast, I would most likely find it acceptable.

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