Skip to main content

Smartwatches are now more popular than fitness bands

While fitness bands have sold in greater numbers than smartwatches in the past, recent research shows things are changing. Counterpoint Research’s latest report shows the global smartwatch market grew by 13% year-over-year (YoY) during the first three months of 2022, yet according to a Canalys report, during the same period of time fitness band shipments fell by 37%.

Canalys goes on to state that smartwatches — which include basic versions and more complex models — have made up 76% of all wearable shipments so far this year. Meanwhile, fitness bands have been declining for a while. This is the sixth consecutive quarter where shipments have fallen, according the Canalys data, falling to less than 10 million after peaking at 27.9 million units at the end of 2019.

According to Canalys Research Analyst Sherry Jin, people are buying smartwatches over fitness bands because they offer bigger displays, long battery life, and richer features. Apple holds the top spot with the Watch Series 7 outselling other wearables. The company sold 14% more smartwatches between January and March this year than during the same period in 2021. The Galaxy Watch 4 is the most popular WearOS product, and it helped Samsung grow 46% YoY.

Elsewhere in the report, Huawei led the basic smartwatch segment with a 7.2% market share, according to Counterpoint Research. However, its growth trajectory remained flat. It was followed by Xiaomi, which registered 69% YoY growth by selling most of its wearables under $100. Amazfit retained the sixth spot in the number of smartwatch shipments.

Google is all set to ride the wave of interest in smartwatches with the launch of its Pixel Watch later this year, and that may lead to another decline in fitness bands. It will be the first smartwatch to benefit from Fitbit integration, since Google acquired the company several years ago. Fitbit made its name with fitness bands, but has subsequently gone on to produce hybrid devices like the Versa 3. Now that its software is expected on a full smartwatch too, interest in fitness bands may fall even further as the year goes on.

Editors' Recommendations

Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
Do old Pixel Watch bands fit the Google Pixel Watch 2?
The back of the Google Pixel Watch 2.

During its Made by Google event in New York, Google revealed the next generation of its smartwatch with the Google Pixel Watch 2. Though it looks very much like the original Google Pixel Watch, there are a lot of improvements that Google made this year.

For one, the new Pixel Watch 2 has an all-new quad-core CPU, 24 hours of battery life with the always-on display enabled, more accurate heart rate readings, a new skin temperature sensor, and better integrated and more refined buttons. In addition, the crown offers smoother navigation throughout. And all of this is packed into a new 100% recycled aluminum casing that is 10% lighter than its predecessor's.

Read more
The Fitbit Charge 6 is a fitness tracker and smartwatch hybrid
A Charge 6 being used on a wrist.

Fitbit has finally embraced what it means to be owned by Google with the Fitbit Charge 6. Not only is the Charge 6 an impressive-looking fitness tracker with a more accurate heart rate tracker, but it's also the first Fitbit device to really lean on the vast data resources offered by its parent company, Google. These additions have moved the Charge 6 toward becoming more of a smartwatch, thinning the barriers between the two device types.

Fitbit was purchased by Google in January 2021, but outside of Fitbit's tech being front and center in the fitness section of the Google Pixel Watch, it hasn't meant too much change for the fitness tracker brand. That ends with today.

Read more
Apple’s new Lightning to USB-C adapter costs more than just buying a USB-C cable
Apple Store listing for an Apple Lightning to USB-C adapter cable.

I don't think the iPhone 15's transition to USB-C is going to be all that painful. Yes, the Lightning plug has found its way to every corner of the world, and you're just as likely to find one to charge up your phone as you are any other cable when you're desperate for some juice, but we can't discount just how many USB-C chargers, cables, and accessories there are out in the world already. This is going to go just fine.

But you can always count on Apple to take advantage of switching standards with some hilariously priced -- and borderline pointless -- adapters to ease the transition for people who don't know any better but to click a few extra buttons and purchase official accessories when they're buying their latest device. Enter Apple's USB-C to Lightning adapter, which is conveniently already available on the Apple Store.

Read more