Sweaty fitness bands fall behind as Apple Watch outpaces sales

“Consumers’ love affair with fitness bands looks to have run its course with smartwatches shaping up to be the preferred way to lose the tub,” Paul Kunert reports for The Register. “Or so market sales data from channel analyst Canalys has indicated: basic band shipment globally, which are comprised mostly of fitness bands, fell seven per cent year-on-year to just over nine million units in Q1 of 2017.”

“This was the first time category reported sales shrinkage, with the major incumbent Fitbit posting a 30 per cent crash across its wearable band portfolio to 2.9 million devices, though the extent of the slide was due to purchase postponement,” Kunert reports. “Smartwatch sales jumped 26 per cent to more than six million – some 40 per cent of the total wearable band market. Apple Watch accounted for 3.8 million of these sales, up 77 per cent from a year ago, ‘despite its high price,’ said Canalys.”

New limited edition Apple Watch Nikelab champions neutral-toned style
The new limited edition Apple Watch Nikelab champions neutral-toned style

Kunert reports, “Said Jason Low, Canalys analyst, ‘What sets the Apple Watch apart is a renewed focus on fitness, its co-branding with Nike helping to support this move. In addition, the availability of a wide range of accessories means the Apple Watch appeals to tech savvy consumers with an eye for fashion.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s really only one smartwatch worth owning… scratch that: There’s really only one smartwatch, period.

If you don’t have an Apple Watch, yet, you are missing out.

If, beyond an iPhone, you also have a Mac, an iPad, AirPods, etc. and dn’t have an Apple Watch, you are really missing out.

Apple Watch helps doctors detect the leading cause of heart failure with 97% accuracy – May 12, 2017
Fossil shares plunge as Apple Watch kills traditional watch market – May 10, 2017
As it turns two, Apple Watch focuses on core strengths – April 24, 2017
Happy second birthday, Apple Watch! – April 24, 2017
New limited edition Apple Watch Nikelab champions neutral-toned style – April 20, 2017
Apple Watch Series 3 coming in second half 2017, sources say – April 5, 2017
The Apple Watch is still the best designed smartwatch – March 14, 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


  1. Frank: as I was talking to myself, I said: “self, Frank will definitely post in response to this article” and here you are, the 1st. I know you hurried to be the 1st. Congrats! Like one of the other articles where you posted one after another, I’d do the same with this article. In fact, I think you should do it for the rest of the afternoon. That’l keep you from doing other important things where you might hurt yourself/others, but it’ll also keep your predictable responses from other MDN articles. Ok? Ok.

    1. Nah, go easy on Frank. He’s *still* trying to get over the whole Zune thing being a huge failure. He’s been reduced to a bitter old man who cries like a baby over absolutely everything.

      He has my deepest pity.

  2. Here’s a little story of why AW will continue to eat into the fitness band space …

    Over the weekend, I installed a new garage door opener, which included an internet capability (unfortunately, not a HomeKit compatible). Didn’t really think much about it, as I needed the opener to replace the ancient one that died, and it was the least expensive one Lowe’s had in stock. So I installed it, set up the internet gateway and installed the app on my phone (thinking I’d rarely use it, as both cars have HomeLink buttons on the rear-view mirrors).

    This morning I was getting ready for my daily walk/jog and tapped my AW crown to open the fitness app, and noticed a new app icon that had installed automatically with the garage door opener app … so I tapped it to open the door, tapped again to start the fitness tracker, headed down the driveway and tapped again to close the garage door. Reversed the procedure on my return. And of course, controlled my podcast and music playback via AW while getting a workout.

    It all “just worked.”

    There’s simply no match for the sort of integration afforded by the Apple ecosystem elsewhere.

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