Wearables continue their streak with yet another increase in the number of health and fitness trackers hitting the market.
Fitbit continues to lead the field, having shipped 4 million fitness trackers just in the second quarter of this year, according to a new report.
Total shipments of basic bands, comprising mainly health and fitness trackers, passed 9 million units in the last quarter, according to Canalys.
Following Fitbit is Chinese maker Xiaomi, having sent 3 million devices into the market last quarter, followed by Garmin at 700,000 devices.
Meanwhile, wearable-maker Jawbone has attempted to sell its wearable business, according to a report in The Information, though Jawbone said the story is false. Shipments of their devices didn’t even register in the report.
While fitness trackers are surging, smartwatches are at a lull. Apple shipped only 3 million watches during the first two quarters of this year, according to Canalys.
IDC earlier reported that Apple smartwatch sales are down 55% from a year ago, as I wrote about here recently (Number Of Apple Watches Hitting The Market Drops By 55%).
The Apple smartwatch situation could change soon, thanks to a coming new Apple Watch. Canalys estimates that 8 million smartwatches with cellular connectivity will ship this year.
“I think we will start to see more independent smart watches beginning later this year,” said Daniel Matte, analyst at Canalys. “Cellular connectivity will be part of the story, but already much of the work has been done with watch OS and Android Wear to make these devices more independent.”
The smartphone is still a main hub for smart watches, as well as for the Internet of Things in general, since consumers need a control point, at least at the moment.
“Smartwatches won’t serve as a replacement for smart phones, of course, and it remains a good idea to piggyback off smart phones’ processing and connectivity when possible to spare smart watch battery life,” Matte said. “But they will increasingly lessen the need to perform many simple tasks on a smart phone.”
Meanwhile, health and fitness trackers, with their lower prices, will remain attractive to consumers while waiting for the prices of other IoT products to come down. Or increase in perceived value.