When Nokia purchased health equipment maker Withings last year, we wondered what that would mean for the erstwhile challenger to Fitbit and Apple. Well, it turns out it means the Withings brand will be taken out of the market.
The Nokia brand will replace Withings on all products, update the Health Mate app, and provide a platform for patients and healthcare professionals to easily share data.
For the last few years Fitbit has been the dominant player in the growing and lucrative health and fitness wearable market. They have built such a strong brand that fitness wearables are all called “fitbits” in the same way searching on the web is now called “googling” (even if you don’t use Google) or photocopying was called xeroxing.
But that market dominance is coming to an end. One of the largest companies in the world, Apple, is pushing its way into the health and fitness market with the Apple Watch. And while Fitbit integrates south many other exercise and well-being services, they are hanging on like barnacles to a grudge with Apple and won’t make their platform available to Apple Watch owners.
Why is this? To answer that we need to look back a few years.
Last week, Fitbit purchased the guts of smartwatch maker Pebble. Pebble has been THE crowdfunding success story until now. Each new model Pebble produced was funded through Kickstarter.
But the company has been struggling, with competition from the likes of Samsung, Fitbit, Apple and others. Like many market pioneers, they were overtaken and then beaten down by the second and third wave of market entrants.
The original Apple Watch felt incomplete – almost as if Apple released a product they were testing in the lab to see what the market thought. Lacking integrated GPS and waterproofing, they nonetheless tried to pitch it as an activity tracker using Christie Turlington to spruik its credibility.
But the new Apple Watch Series 2 running watchOS 3 changes that considerably. It’s now a viable, if imperfect alternative, for runners.
Back in late 2014, Apple and Fitbit had a fairly acrimonious split. Until then, Apple happily sold Fitbit’s trackers in their online and physical stores. But with Apple creating its own health ecosystem, there were calls for Fitbit to integrate with Apple’s platform.
Fitbit struck back saying their customers weren’t asking for that integration so they decided not to play nicely with HealthKit – Apple’s platform for integrating health and well-being devices and apps. So Apple dumped them from their stores.
International Data Corporation (IDC) says worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to reach 101.9 million units by the end of 2016, representing 29.0% growth over 2015. According to their Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, the market for wearable devices will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.3%, culminating in 213.6 million units shipped in 2020. Continue reading →
From time to time, we receive press releases highlighting things going on in the health and well-being sections of various app stores. This week, Apple has put the spotlight on their App Store.
This listing is a collection of apps, podcasts, and books. The Run and Lift hasn;t had a chance to try all of these but they might be a good place to start if you’re looking for some resources to kickstart or reinvigorate your health and wellness program.
According to Apple’s earnings call on 27 Jan 2015, the Apple Watch will ship, on schedule, in April 2015. It looks like there will be three collections – one for everyday use, a more upmarket dress watch and a sport model. Will the sport model be really useful? Continue reading →