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Health wearable Fitbit leads the market

Published on 19/06/15 at 09:43am
Fitbit image
The firm has gained an edge by tapping into a flourishing ‘corporate wellness’ industry

Health and fitness wearable device Fitbit has beaten expectations as the company’s shares soar following its first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange. 

In the face of stiff competition from Apple’s watch and other wearable tech from Android and Microsoft, Fitbit is leading the pack and represents a growing demand for fitness and health tracking devices.

The market, which is now gaining traction, had got off to a slow start with consumers wanting more from affordable devices that offer greater engagement and privacy. 

Now Fitbit that makes wristbands that track your calories and footsteps, has just raised $732m (£460m) from its share sale. The shares jumped from their $20 initial price to more than $30 to value it at around $6 billion. 

Such success has been attributed to the firm tapping into a flourishing ‘corporate wellness’ industry that is being touted to revolutionise workplace environments. 

The Guardian notes that technology firms such as Adobe and Box to traditional corporate giants such as BP, have been lining up to fit their employees with its fitness trackers. 

And this has not escaped the interests of pharma either, Biogen recently conducted a study with PatientsLikeMe and was one of the first to outfit patients with trackers to collect data – using Fitbit monitors on 250 patients with multiple sclerosis to track movements. 

James Park who if Fitbit’s chief executive is keen to weigh in on its success, saying: “We are the clear market leader with 85% market share. Fitbit is synonymous with health and fitness tracking, and that gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace.” 

The company’s sales more than tripled last year to $745.4 million, an increase which is also reflected in sector growth as the number of wearable devices used by customers is expected to triple by 2018 according to the New York Times.

For this year market researcher IDC has predicted that an estimated 72.1 million wearable gadgets are forecast to ship out to users in 2015.

Brett Wells

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