February 2, 2016 8:52am
The market for fitness tracking wearables is on the rise, and there’s not much more sophisticated smartwatches like the Apple Watch have been able to do to change that. In 2015, Fitbit led the way in fitness tracking, with approximately 75 percent of consumer devices being Fitbits.
According to a report from the NPD Group, sales of fitness tracking wearables doubled compared to 2014, while the average selling price also went from $96 USD to $109 USD. This change suggests customers are not opting for the cheapest devices, but are looking for more advanced functionality and are willing to pay for it.
The Apple Watch’s release in the middle of 2015 led to a spike in smartwatch popularity, but the category still trails fitness trackers in terms of overall sales. That being said, overall awareness of smartwatches currently sits at 83 percent of those surveyed, compared to only 75 percent for fitness trackers. This indicates that so far, customers are not yet swayed to purchase smartwatches, either because of the increased price, or perhaps a lack of standout features.
The NPD Group predicts that the second half of 2016 will see a huge increase in smartwatch ownership, with 30 million devices sold overall by the end of 2017. For reference, the number of smartwatches sold up to the end of 2015 sits at 13 million devices.