A wrist accessory with a silicon strap has become the latest fashion statement and a must-have for the sporty. We’re talking about the fitness band, which helps to keep track of distance covered, calories burnt and sleep among other things.
According to Canalys, the global wearable band market grew an astonishing 684 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2013.
“Fitbit and Jawbone have very successfully grown and strengthened their relationships with channel partners internationally to grow global shipment volumes. They took first and second place respectively in the basic wearable band market in the first half 2014,’ said Chris Jones, Vice President and Principal Analyst of Canalys.
Nike’s market share has fallen as it cuts resources in this area, while new entrant Garmin had a successful launch of its vivofit device and is chasing third place.
“The challenge all vendors face is keeping consumers engaged with the devices, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” said Jones.
Samsung again became the worldwide leader in the smart wearable band market in the first half of 2014 with the release of three new products in the second quarter: the Gear 2, Gear 2 Neo and Gear Fit. In July, Samsung released its fifth smart band in less than a year, the Gear Live, based on Android Wear.
“But Samsung must improve device sell-through otherwise it will again have to resort to heavy discounting through promotions to move inventory,” said Jones.
The Pebble Steel helped Pebble keep its momentum and its app store continues to grow while Sony completes the top three.
While Apple is expected to launch a smart wearable band, Xiaomi has already done so with the Mi Band, which cost just US$13, only a fraction of the market leaders. If its smartphone sales are anything to go by, the China vendor is capable of disrupting the market and capture a sizable share of the wearable market to become a market leader.