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Fitbit Dominates Q2 Basic Band Wearables Amid Smartwatch Lull

Canalys research has revealed that Fitbit dominated the basic bands sector of the wearables market in the 2016 second quarter, while the quarter saw a lull in the smartwatch sector.

Canalys figures show total basic band shipments for the quarter exceeded 9 million units, with Fitbit leading the sector with 3.7 million shipments, growing 36 per cent year-on-year. In second place, Xiaomi shipped nearly 3 million Mi bands, with Garmin, in third place, shipping over 700,000 units.

“Fitbit’s remarkable growth story has continued,” Canalys analyst Jason Low commented. “It has managed to do this primarily by driving its main competitors out of business. Jawbone’s shipments, for example, will soon come to an end.

“Pressure on Fitbit’s business from smartwatch vendors is mounting, though, especially if they can achieve lower price points and improve battery life to take a bite out of the basic band market.”

Meanwhile, the quarter “saw a lull in the market for smartwatches”.

Canalys states that Apple shipped only 3 million watches during the first two quarters of the year, however, ahead of a new Apple Watch, “its shipments are poised to triple in the remainder of the year”.

Canalys notes Android Wear shipments are declining this year, with momentum behind new product launches waning.

“Android Wear 2.0 is a major improvement for the platform, but for it to make maximum impact Google must become more directly involved with driving compelling Android Wear products,” Canalys analyst Daniel Matte commented.

“Apple has also predictably struggled with the extended product cycle for its first Apple Watch. WatchOS 3, meanwhile, fixes the platform’s performance deficiencies by trading off battery life out of necessity. The platform should now be on course to improve its app ecosystem and increase sales.”

Canalys additionally forecasts that 7.5 million smartwatches with cellular connectivity will ship this year.

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