Fitbit to lose out to specialised wearables, predicts Juniper
February 14, 2018
Fitbit and Huami will see market share in general fitness wearables decline as consumers turn to more specialised devices integrated into clothing or ear based, according to Juniper Research.
The research found that specialised fitness wearables integrated into clothing and ear-based hearables will grow from an expected 4.5 million shipped in 2018 to nearly 30 million in 2022, an increase of more than 550%.
By contrast, conventional activity tracker shipments will only grow by 20% in that time.
The research found that as growth in basic trackers has slowed, session-specific wearables, for example those monitoring gym sessions, have multiplied. Devices from companies such as Under Armour, Sensoria, Gymwatch, Atlas and Jabra provide more granular metrics without the additional messaging and call-handling functions of more general wearables. The picture shows a Sensoria fitness sock.
It found that as detailed metrics become widespread amongst all vendors, lifestyle tracking leaders such as Fitbit and Huami will decline in market share. Combined, these players will account for 28% of total fitness wearable shipments by 2022, down from over 40% in 2017.
The research found that the key battleground for fitness wearables is now data, which will ultimately become device-agnostic thanks to initiatives such as Suunto’s Movesense platform. However, due to lack of consumer interest, Juniper expects fitness software and services revenues to remain under $200m per annum over the next four years.
Despite the promise of wearables in healthcare, there is little specialised hardware available, with fitness wearables being adapted for healthcare purposes. Juniper expects healthcare wearables to make up under a third of all such devices in use by 2022, as regulation slows roll-outs and keeps prices high.
“Healthcare usage has long been the goal of many wearables manufacturers,” said research author James Moar. “However, more research needs to be done on activity tracking in order to make typical wearables data clinically meaningful to healthcare professionals.”