Survey: For now, consumers prefer Fitbit to Apple Watch, so does Obama

By Aditi Pai
09:00 am
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President Barack Obama is not the only one who, at least for now, seems to prefer the Fitbit to the Apple Watch. An ON World survey of more than 1,000 consumers found that 48 percent of fitness tracker early adopters chose the Fitbit, while just 21 percent chose the Apple Watch.

“Most activity trackers are one third the price of the lowest priced Apple smartwatch making Apple’s current offering too expensive for mainstream sports and fitness consumers,” ON World Research Director Mareca Hater said in a statement. “Female early adopters in particular prefer the form and fashion features of the Apple Watch but are still choosing Fitbit over Apple by three to one.”

Earlier this week, another ON World report found that wearable users say fitness is the most important application for such devices. More than half of likely wearable device owners said they would use their devices, either activity tracking devices or smartwatches, for fitness. Additionally, 39 percent of likely wearable consumers are interested in activity trackers, 22 percent more than ON World’s previous survey. 

In February, President Barack Obama mentioned in an interview with Re/Code Cofounder Kara Swisher that he was considering using an Apple Watch because of its fitness capabilities.

“I don’t have a Fitbit yet, but I work out hard,” he said at the time. “Word is these Apple Watches might be a good companion for my workouts. So I’m gonna see, I’m gonna test it out.”

Obama continued: “I don’t want to give Tim Cook too big of a plug here until I’ve actually seen the product, but he tells me it’s pretty good.”

But just a month later, Obama was seen wearing a Fitbit Surge, the Fitbit device with a similar feature set to that of a smartwatch. At the time, though, the Apple Watch had not launched yet. A few days ago, Obama was spotted wearing the Surge again, even though the Apple Watch is now available for consumers. So, it looks like the Fitbit Surge may actually be the the “first” wearable of the US, or FWOTUS.