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 sales are up but it’s losing marketshare

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2018 Apple Watch
The 2018 Apple Watch could be noticeably larger than this one.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch is finally starting to face some bigger competition from rival smartwatch-makers, based on the latest data from Canalys.

Fitbit and Garmin are capitalizing on the wearables trend and diversifying their lineups to appeal to specific use cases. As a result, Apple Watch’s market share shrunk even though it sold more watches in Q2 2018 than it did during the same period last year.

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.

Apple Watch shipments almost double Fitbit’s

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Save big on the Apple Watch Series 3
Apple Watch dominates the global wearables market, solidly beating its arch-rival.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

There’s no doubt who’s top dog in the global wearables market. Just over 4 million Apple Watches shipped during the first quarter of this year. That’s nearly double the number of Fitbits shipped.

The performance of Apple’s wearable was also up dramatically when compared to the same period of last year.

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.

Fitbit CFO: I don’t know anyone who’s passionate about Apple Watch

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apple watch
Just not a product that inspires passion, apparently.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple constantly wins plaudits for being a brand consumers feel passionate about, but Fitbit Chief Financial Officer Bill Zerella doesn’t think that applies to the Apple Watch.

Speaking at the recent Roth Investment Conference in Laguna Beach, California, Zerella said that, “I have yet to meet anyone who owns an Apple Watch who’s passionate about the product.”

New Fitbit Versa takes aim at Apple Watch

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Fitbit Versa
Fitbit Versa is likely to become a top competitor for Apple Watch.
Photo: Fitbit

Fitbit is stepping up to compete better with the Apple Watch with the Versa smartwatch. The new wearable looks similar to Apple’s watch, and offers music playback and other capabilities. Plus, it arrives at a lower price point — just under $200.

The Versa’s unveiling comes just after Apple surpassed Fitbit in the wearables market. Apparently, people want much more from their devices than just counting steps.

FDA fast-tracks Apple health products

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Apple Watch Series 2 will still make you stare at their wrists waiting for it to wake, when you should be watching where you are running
The FDA is easing up on digital health tools like Apple Watch.
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

The Food and Drug Administration is making it easier for Apple and other tech companies to get health-related products out to the public faster.

Apple will be part of a new pilot program aimed at rapidly advancing the development of digital health applications. If the program works as intended, it could mean we’ll see new Apple Watch applications and other Apple-made health accessories a lot sooner.

Pressure mounts on Apple Watch Series 3 as shipments fall

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apple watch bands
Apple Watch Series 3 needs to be special.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 3 is under pressure to recapture a larger share of the wearables market after Apple was overtaken by Xiaomi and Fitbit last quarter.

Despite wearables shipments increasing 8 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2017, Apple fell to third place, shifting just 2.7 million units.