Among wearable fitness apps, Fitbit and Jawbone have consistently ranked ahead of Nike+ FuelBand and other wearable fitness apps this year.
Life in the wearable health and fitness market can be nasty, brutish and, as it appears for some companies, short.
While venture capital funding continues to pour into the wearable tech ecosystem to the tune of $458M in 2013, sentiment on the space has taken a downturn as of late. Among the recent headlines to hit the wearable fitness market in recent months:
- Fitbit, backed by investors including True Ventures and Foundry Group, voluntarily recalled all of its Fitbit Force wristbands after a number of skin rash incidents.
- Nike confirmed layoffs in its digital sports division, leading to speculation that the company will shutter its Nike+ FuelBand devices.
- Lots of media chatter about the market being overhyped – see here, here, here and here as examples
Given the flurry of recent, often negative, news, we analyzed how five of the most popular wearable fitness trackers were trending in the ‘Health & Fitness’ category of the App Store. Specifically, the apps included:
- Nike+ FuelBand
- Jawbone UP
- WiThings Health Mate
Below are some observations based on the data:
- Fitbit’s app has led the pack and consistently ranked in the top 5 ‘Health & Fitness’ apps in 2014 despite its recall in February.
- Kleiner Perkins-backed Jawbone, the most well-funded of the wearable fitness trackers, has trended in the top 50 apps in the category but has not been able to make any notable jumps toward FitBit’s lead this year. Jawbone’s UP app has, however, ranked ahead of Nike+ FuelBand over the period.
- Intel-acquired Basis has seen the most fluctuations of the wearable fitness trackers. Since Intel announced the closing its acquisition on Mar. 25, the app has fallen in the ranking to as low as 531.
- All of the apps saw a notable Holiday season bump as evidenced by the rankings jump on Christmas. But, besides Fitbit, the app rankings boost tailed off by mid-January perhaps as new activations and adherence to New Year’s resolutions tailed off.
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