Fitbit More Than A Fad

With smartwatches dominating headlines, it is easy to think the fitness band craze of the past couple of years would fad away to the more sophisticated wrist accessories. But, as prices continue to remain high, and the desire to use the smart devices beyond the phone continues to remain stagnant, sales continue to dominate the industry and the livelihood of the activity tracker remains as strong as ever.

Fitbit bills itself as an innovative way of monitoring your lifestyle with fitness and health in mind. It works in a similar fashion to the pedometer, a device worn by the user and counts the number of steps taken in the day. However, unlike the conventional pedometer, the functionality of Fitbit does not end here. The lower-end Fitbit devices can be clipped to your clothing or carried in your pocket to measure the distance traveled in miles, an amount of calories burned, and has a Bluetooth transmitter to send your data to a Fitbit smartphone app or the company’s website. The higher-priced devices are worn on the wrist like a watch, with two of the models collecting heart rate information and tracking sleeping patterns and the top of the line Surge trying to break into the smartwatch industry as the athlete’s option for tracking health.

When you enter the foods you ate, the online functionality will provide you with a wealth of nutritional information adjusted by your consumption levels. The sleep monitoring functionality enables the user gather a lot of useful information on the quality of your sleep. The Fitbit will tell you how long it took to fall asleep, the number of times you moved while sleeping, and the number of times you woke up. In short, the Fitbit devices make you aware of the reality of your lifestyle, hence offering you the ability to make changes that will improve your life for the better.

It’s no surprise, then, to see the devices reach large share volumes for the fitness tracking industry, hitting large numbers for the UK, German, United States and France. Fitbit has already reached 83 percent value share in the United Kingdom, numbers that nearly double iPhone’s share in the region, while growth in France and Germany have been by nearly 300 percent in the last reported quarter of 2015.

“We have seen exceptional growth over the past year and our continued focus on awareness and expansion across Europe has helped Fitbit become a top brand in the connected health and fitness category in this region.” said Gareth Jones, Vice President of Fitbit EMEA.

It’s no surprise, then that the IPO for the parent company Fitbit, Inc., raised more than $100 million after making more than $754 million in sales in 2014. It’s stock (NYSE: FIT) continues to trade above it’s main competitor Garmin, though it is severely lower than the company Fitbit sees as its biggest competitor Apple.

The steadiness of the health and fitness tracking company remains clear as sales remain high despite the continued success of Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch and the Apple Watch. But, while sales for those watches continue to climb, the market range for them remains high, as well. Samsung’s Gear S2 starts at $299 while Apple Watch’s low-end is $349, going all the way up to $10,000. The Fitbit Surge retails at $249 while the more popular ChargeHR sales at $149.


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