Wearables Week In Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Apple Goes Bigger?

The latest rumor regarding the Apple Watch 7 is that the watch may be slightly bigger, with 41mm and 45mm options (up from 40 and 44mm previously). The new Watch is also expected to come with flatter edges, thinner bezels and a flatter screen. The big question is: is the watch face bigger so that Apple can pack in more sensors – or perhaps a bigger battery to increase the time between charges – or simply to provide a more useable interface for apps.

The NPD Take:

  • Apple typically announces new Watch versions in September so we won’t have to wait long. The Watch certainly needs a better battery life now that Apple is focused on wellness, including sleep monitoring.

Fitbit Super Charged

Fitbit has announced the Charge 5, adding features that are more typically found in a smartwatch into its flagship tracker. The display has been improved – AMOLED compared to a previous monochrome display – and is 11% larger than the previous iteration. In addition, there’s an ECG sensor to detect abnormal heart rhythms via a PDF graph of your heartbeat (although this will not be available immediately at launch) and an electrodermal activity sensor (EDA) which can detect stress responses from sweat, further improving the stress management features on the tracker.

The NPD Take:

  • Fitbit remains king of the tracker market, but consumers are migrating towards smartwatches. This consumer transition typically means a switch in loyalty from Fitbit to Apple Watch predominantly, which is clearly a high risk to Fitbit. Improving its trackers should help Fitbit to slow the migration to smartwatches, buying the company more time to create a stronger consumer loyalty for the eventual transition to a smartwatch format.
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