Fitness trackers continue to post strong increases as a product category, according to a new report from International Data Corp. (IDC). Fitbit led the growth with 29.5% of units shipped, while Apple was a distant second at 15%.
One reason for Fitbit being ahead is consumers aren’t sure what to make of smartwatches, tending to view the device as an expensive notification center with insufficient battery life.
“People don’t quite see the value in smartwatches just yet,” Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, said in a report in E-Commerce Times. “People understand the purpose of a Fitbit or a fitness tracker, but they don’t understand the importance of a smartwatch.”
That should change in the next three to five years as the cost of smartwatches comes down and features improve, Ubrani said. Style will also eventually help smartwatches become more important.
“Fashion and style is important,” said Billie Whitehouse, CEO of Wearable Experiments. “We’re seeing all kinds of new materials crop up, and I think that’s part of the evolution. It’s going beyond these big boxes on our wrists.”