Focus on health and fitness
Fitbit’s (FIT) Ionic comes with several new features, including health programs and customized coaching, and the company believes that the device will gain traction as more customers realize the benefits of health and fitness tracking.
The Ionic is compatible across platforms. It has an Android (GOOG) (GOOGL) OS (operating system) and can address over 80% of the global smartphone market using this OS. Fitbit is also looking to gain entry into the iOS (AAPL) market through the Ionic.
While the Apple Watch Series 3 has LTE (long-term evolution) cellular compatibility, Fitbit is not concerned about this particular feature. But Apple Watch users will have access to over 40 million songs via Apple Music, while Fitbit has partnered with Pandora (P) and wants to enable users to download over 300 songs.
In addition, both devices are water-resistant up to a depth of 50 meters. While Fitbit’s Iconic is available for purchase at $300, the Apple Watch Series 3 is priced at two price points which are $329 and $399.
Smartwatch shipments expected to reach $161 million by 2021
As we discussed in previous parts of this series, IDC expects shipments in the wearables market to reach 125.5 million devices in 2017. The firm expects smartwatch shipments to rise at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 26.5%, from 71.4 million units in 2017 to 161 million units in 2021.