Fitbit was punished this week on Wall Street by shaving off 33% of the stock value this week. This was mainly due to investors disappointment with lagging sales. Last year sales increased by 92% in the fourth quarter and expectations were released that sales were going to remain steady compared to last year which was not well received in the Stock Market. Only on Wall Street, would maintaining 25% of the Fitness Tracker market and the same strong sales numbers as last year be bad news.
The main concern is that Fitbit has not diversified beyond their core business, being a market leader in the fitness tracker market. Currently Fitbit reports that 46% of their users have upgraded to another Fitbit model. The issue Wall Street has with that number is that it hasn’t increased from last year.
Fitbit CEO James Park has identified that 20% of Adults currently have a fitness tracker device but 66% are concerned about health and fitness. By introducing new features in future models, breaking the 46% ceiling will not be an issue and competitors don’t feature in accomplishing that goal.
We decided to have a brief overview of some of Fitbit’s competitors to see where they sit in the wearable technology industry and how they are positioned currently.
Competitors such as Garmin, have an established business in servicing commercial and military GPS industries. Garmin’s venture into wearable is a relatively new venture that has been extremely successful with a range of incredible Garmin fitness trackers and smartwatches hybrids.
One of their big standouts this year has been the Garmin 735XT which is the ultimate multi-sport fitness tracker.
Sony is diversified with an entire core business based on consumer electronics such as TV’s, mobile phones, and computers. With the introduction of the Sony Smartwatch 3, they have put their toe in the water of the wearable technology market. We will be looking forward to the next step in Sony’s venture with the release of Smartwatch 4.
Motorola is best known historically for the incredible success of the flip phone of yesteryear and anything cellular. They are another traditional electronics manufacturer that is looking to cash in on the 2019 anticipated 5.4 Billion dollars a year industry.
Motorola launched the Moto 360 Sport last year and the model is still going strong with voice command technology. This is an Android Wear device that runners have fallen in love with over the past year.
Jawbone the hit start-up company of a few years ago with successful products from cellphone headsets to wireless speakers, has had a very difficult year marred by ongoing patent lawsuits with Fitbit leading to financial uncertainty. The Jawbone range of UP2, UP3, and UP4 have all received overwhelmingly positive reviews and feedback from the wearable technology industry. Unfortunately, the financial and legal issues have hampered innovation resulting in Jawbone not releasing a new model since 2015.
The real winners in Jawbone’s struggles appear to be the consumers with Jawbone prices being slashed in recent months over the uncertainty of Jawbone’s future. If you can overlook the corporate manoeuvring of Jawbone’s uncertain future, then there is a bargain to be had this holiday season.
The is clearly different strategies by different players in the wearable tech industry. Whether it be diversification or prioritizing the ever-growing fitness tracker and smartwatch markets for the future, the amount of research and development for a multitude of applications is only increasing year over year.
In the end, the consumer should benefit from the fierce competition with future upgrades, improved technological features, and the increased players entering the lucrative app industry to service all the new wearables needs of consumers.
Are you interested in researching the right fitness tracker for you? We have the latest reviews, news, and trends on fitness trackers on I Wear the Tech.