And yet, sales of fitness trackers are healthier than ever, while struggling smartwatch makers are desperately trying to reposition their gadgets to muscle into the fitness market. So what is going on? If fitness trackers really don’t work, why are consumers still buying them?
Fitbit is buying Pebble and killing its existing lineup of wearables to focus on new ones — but it won’t be dropping support for those devices right away. Pebble today confirmed that its software and services will continue to run through 2017.
The writing has been on the wall for smartwatches ever since Cupertino chose to focus on sports and fitness features for Apple Watch Series 2. Smartwatch sales are plummeting, and fitness seems to be the only profitable area remaining in the wearables sector.
More evidence of this trend emerged this week, with smartwatch trailblazer Pebble reportedly being acquired by fitness wearables specialist Fitbit. We might very well be witnessing the demise of the smartwatch as we know it.
So how did we get here? Is Apple Watch really only fit for fitness, or could it still one day fulfill its destiny and become a true wrist-based computing platform?
Fitness band maker Fitbit is said to be in the process of acquiring Pebble, the company that kickstarted the smartwatch generation. Sources say the acquisition will cost between $35 million and $40 million, and will include the entire Pebble portfolio — including its intellectual property.
Ever open the drawer and go, “Oh yeah. I own a Jawbone”? It’s easy to forget about an old Fitbit or Pebble you’ve got stashed away, but the Cult of Mac buyback program makes rediscovering an unused wearable more like finding a forgotten wad of cash.
We’ll give you the best price for your wearables, from shiny Apple Watches to older, well-worn products that most other buyback programs won’t accept. It’s a no-brainer to quickly and easily turn an old, unused wearable into cold, hard cash.
Despite its focus on helping you get fit, Apple Watch is still no closer to knocking Fitbit off its throne.
The company’s much more affordable fitness trackers have helped it claim 61.7 percent of the U.S. wearables market so far, while Apple’s first smartwatch has grabbed just 6.8 percent since making its debut last April.
The Apple Watch may have out-earned Rolex to the tune of $1.5 billion last year, but according to Fitbit CEO’s James Park, Apple’s pursuing the wrong direction with its wearable devices.
“We look at it from a consumer point of view,” Park said, noting that the Apple Watch, “is a computing platform [instead, and] that’s really the wrong way to approach this category from the very beginning.”