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The wearables market is booming: Fitbit scares Apple and Google

It might sound hard to believe, but according to a Strategy Analytics report, the wearable market is growing fast. Not only are smartwatch and smartband sales increasing dramatically on a global scale, but the biggest share is perhaps taken by the least obvious manufacturer. Should Apple and Google fear Fitbit?

The wearable market is seeing a 58% increase in earnings during the third quarter of 2018, compared to the previous year. Most of these gains are due to Apple Watch 4 Series' arrival on the market, which has driven the entire industry. However, Apple is not the company that has managed to grow the most and neither is its rival Google with its renewed WearOS. Fitbit and its proprietary Fitbit OS platform have in fact tripled their market share in a single year - a truly impressive figure.

The Fitbit smartwatch that drove the growth is the Versa - a compact device and aesthetically very similar to Apple's Watch, coincidences?

AndroidPIT fitbit versa hero1
The Apple Watch inspiration is hard to hide. / © AndroidPIT

Why Fitbit?

Compared to Apple's WatchOS or Google's WearOS, the Fitbit operating system doesn't have much (or better) to offer. The supported functions are quite basic and even customization is not very advanced on FitbitOS. What is it, then, that has prompted so many users to adopt the platform? Even Samsung's proprietary platform called Tizen (used on all of the company's recent wearables such as the Gear Fit2 Pro and the Galaxy Watch) seems more attractive.

samsung gear sport app drawer
Samsung's ecosystem is much less equipped with apps than WearOS and WatchOS, yet still better than FibitOS. / © AndroidPIT

What I think has convinced most consumers is the ease of use of the system. It's true, you won't find the thousands of WearOS watch face designs or the same watch interaction possibilities that Apple users can boast of, but the Fitbit system is sufficiently responsive and simple to use - even for people who aren't tech-savvy.

In addition, the low prices of the brand's smartbands, such as Alta HR, have certainly convinced many users to purchase items impulsively, making Fitbit's market share explode.

Do you own a smartwatch or a smartband? What is your preferred brand? Let us know in the comments.

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  • I held off on the whole smartwatch until late summer, when the Gear S3 Frontier price went down. I don't use it for apps, but I do use it as a watch, heart rate, sleep, watch pay, and the best thing is the notifications. Not having to pull my phone out of my belt case 4,545 times a day to answer the phone, text, email is a time saver for me.

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