Thinking about a fitness tracker? In the future you may defer that purchase in favor of a smartwatch.
According to a new report from Gartner, by 2015 50 Percent of people in the market for smart wristband will choose a smartwatch instead.
Gartner forecasts shipments of wearable fitness devices will hit 68.1 million units in 2015, down from 70 million units in 2014. The firm attributes the dip in sales to an overlap in functionality between smart wristbands, other wearable fitness monitors and smartwatches.
“Fitness wearables are used for tracking health, which goes hand-in-hand with fitness and wellness,” said Angela McIntyre, research director at Gartner, in a statement. “Consumers will be able to integrate the data from most wearables into a single account where their data can be analyzed using cognizant computing to provide useful insights to wearers.”
McIntyre said that funding initiatives from Qualcomm, Apple (HealthKit), Google (Google Fit), Samsung (S.A.M.I.), Microsoft, Nike and Intel, among others, will build on early innovation in wearable fitness and health monitoring and create the infrastructure for merging data relevant to health and fitness.
The five main fitness wearable form factors are smart wristbands, sports watches, other fitness monitors, heart rate monitor chest straps and smart garments.
Gartner forecasts that in 2018 through 2020, 25 percent of smart wristbands and other fitness monitors will be sold through non-retail channels. During this time scale, smart wristbands and other fitness monitors will be offered increasingly by gyms, wellness providers, insurance providers, weight loss clinics or employers, sometimes at subsidized prices or for free.