Report: Fitbit dominated with 50 percent of shipments in Q1

By Aditi Pai
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Canalys q1 2014In the first quarter of 2014, Fitbit held the majority of the market share, according to a report from Canalys. Fifty percent of the 2.7 million wearable shipments belonged to Fitbit. The report added that the recall of Fitbit Force devices because of skin rashes apparently did not slow Fitbit's sale momentum and only affected the US and Canada.

Canalys separated shipment metrics into two categories. While Fitbit and Nike were part of the "basic band" category, another category was "smart bands", and included Pebble, Sony, and Samsung. The company defined basic bands as devices which serve a specific set of purposes, act as accessories to smart devices, and cannot run third-party applications while smart bands can be used for many different purposes, also act as accessories to smart devices, and are capable of running third-party computing applications.

This quarter, Jawbone expanded its international distribution to ship UP24, which launched in Q4 2013. 

‘The [Nike] FuelBand has frankly been outmatched on sales," Canalys Analyst Daniel Matte said in a statement. "Its competitors’ speed, international reach, broader channel distribution, integration with other fitness communities, superior web sites and multi-platform support have proven to be major advantages."

Nike's shipments, on the other hand, made up only 10 percent of the total basic band shipments. According to Canalys, Nike is using its Nike+ user base, which consists of 30 million consumers, to promote its apparel lines. The research firm also expects Nike's software to be compatible with Apple's rumored iWatch.

In the smart band market, Pebble took the lead over Sony and Samsung. The company shipped 35 percent of smart bands in Q1.

This report differed from metrics that Strategy Analytics released recently. According to SA, Samsung is dominating the smartwatch market, holding a market share of 71 percent. The same report added that global smartwatch shipments grew 250 percent year over year, and much of this growth was driven by Samsung.

In February 2014, Canalys predicted that over 17 million total wristworn trackers are expected to ship in 2014. The report also said in 2013, Fitbit shipped the most wearable bands (58 percent market share), which Canalys suggested could be because Fitbit launched its Flex and Force bands in May and October 2013, respectively. The report found that Jawbone had the second largest market share with 21 percent. After Jawbone, Canalys said Nike had 14 percent and the other fitness bands made up the remaining 8 percent.