Apple Watch no closer to knocking Fitbit off its throne

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Apple Watch
Fitbit won't be worried about Apple Watch... yet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

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.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park insisted that Apple Watch is “the wrong way” to approach wearables, which should be more simplistic, with one main focus. And it seems Park isn’t wrong.

In its inaugural wearables report, Kantar WorldPanel ComTech found that Fitbit continues to dominate the world of wearables, claiming well over half of the market share in the U.S., where one in ten consumers now owns a fitness tracker or smartwatch.

“Despite smartwatch vendors promoting more advanced health and fitness capabilities, fitness bands have yet to show signs of wavering popularity among recent US-based owners,” the report explains.

As a result, fitness trackers claim 43.1 percent of the market share in the U.S., while smartwatches claim 33.3 percent.

It’s a different story in Europe. While wearable penetration remains low at 6.6 percent, smartwatches are more popular than trackers, making up 55.2 percent of the market, and Apple’s share of 14 percent isn’t much smaller than Fitbit’s 18.5 percent.

Apple will be hoping that its second-generation Watch, which is expected to arrive alongside the iPhone 7 later this year, will be even more popular than the original, which continues to outsell rival smartwatches at a staggering pace.