Fitbit continues to dominate U.S. wearables market in Q1 2016

Fitbit AltaThe Apple Watch may often get the spotlight when it comes to wearables but Fitbit continues to dominate the nascent market when it comes to what device makes it onto the wrist of U.S. consumers. A new study has found that 12.2% of U.S. consumers owned a fitness band or smartwatch by the end of first quarter of 2016. A whopping 61.7% of those wore a Fitbit device. In comparison, the Apple accounted for only 6.8% of the market.

“For both smartwatch and fitness band buyers – brand, ease of use, and functionality are the top drivers of purchase, outweighing both design and cost,” said Shannon Conway, wearable tech analyst for Kantar Worldpanel ComTech. “Fitbit established itself as an early market leader, capturing 61.7% of the US installed base by communicating a clear and simple value proposition to consumers.

The report should not come as much of a surprise. Not only was Fitbit the undisputed leader in the wearables market at the end of 2015 but it continues to get the most shelf space from U.S. national retailers.

Variety of smartwatches

Echoing a sentiment we’ve heard before, the report suggests that smartwatches are more likely to threaten traditional watch sales than those of basic fitness bands. In fact, smartwatches outshipped traditional Swiss watches for the first time in late 2015. This latest report suggests that 31.9% of all smartwatches replaced a watch in the U.S. market. This number jumps to 43% among Apple Watch users.

Interestingly, the European wearables market looks a little different. Only 6.6% of consumers own a wearable but those who do are more likely to be wearing a smartwatch. Whereas smartwatches had a 22.9% share in the U.S., they had a 55.2% share in Europe. Despite that, Fitbit remains the most-owned brand at 18.5%, followed by Apple and Samsung at 14% and 11.6% respectively.

Source : Kantar Worldpanel ComTech