Apple dominates global wearables sales with only one product

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What cool new features are hidden inside that slimmer Apple Watch Series 4 frame? [Mockup]
People around the world buy lots of different types of wearable computers. But not enough to outsell the Apple Watch.
Photo illustration: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

We already know that Apple sells more smartwatches than everyone else. But there are other types of wearable computers. Do companies sell enough of these other types to overtake the Apple Watch? In a word…Nope.

But the second largest wearable maker might surprise you. Especially considering how close behind Apple they are.

Fitbit gives Apple Watch its only real competition

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Fitbit Versa
The Fitbit Versa would be on the top of smartwatch market if there were no Apple Watch. As it is, it's being solidly beat.
Photo: Fitbit

The smartwatch competition has come down to just two players: Apple Watch and Fitbit. They leave Samsung and other wearables makers well behind.

And in the second quarter of this year, Apple stayed far ahead of even Fitbit.

Apple Watch wins Q1 wearables race, no matter who you ask

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Apple Watch
Rival market analysts peg Apple Watch shipments at different numbers, but the winner in the smartwatch market isn't in doubt.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple was the top wearables vendor in Q1 according to market analysis firm Canalys. A rival analyst from Asymco also placed Apple at the top, but with a higher total of devices shipped. Canalys put the number at 3.8 million. the other at just over 4 million.

Disagreements like this are possible because Apple itself doesn’t reveal how many smartwatches it sells. Still, both groups of analysts agree that Apple Watch leads the market.

Fitbit and Google work together to beat Apple Watch

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Fitbit Versa
Data from your Fitbit smart watch could be sent straight to your electronic medical record thanks to a collaboration between Fitbit and Google.
Photo: Fitbit

Fitbit wants Google’s help to turn its fitness trackers into health monitors. The wearables maker will use Google’s cloud solutions to tie directly to users’ electronic medical records.

The real goal, of course, is to help Fitbit be more competitive with arch-rival Apple Watch.

Fitness apps are ruining the Apple Watch. Apple should scrap them.

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My resolution for 2016: Less staring at spinning dots, more running.
My resolution for 2016: Less staring at spinning dots, more running.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple has got its fitness strategy all wrong. It sees Apple Watch as a computing platform rather than a device, and so it promotes third-party apps instead of making better built-in ones of its own.

That may be a fine strategy for Macs and iPhones, but it just does not work for watches and fitness trackers. Relying on third-party fitness apps means spending far too long staring at the spinning dots of death (the Watch equivalent of a spinning beachball), when we should be working out.

Instead of offering a range of underwhelming third-party workout apps, what Apple Watch really needs is one great built-in app that integrates with popular fitness platforms like Runtastic and MapMyRun.