Fitness Gadgets and Apps – Is Apple the new core?


Apple Watch

Last week at the launch of the iPhone 6, tech innovators Apple announced that they would be dipping their toes into the fitness gadgets sector with the launch of the Apple watch in early 2015. The news sent ripples throughout the fitness technology industry, and a mixture of fear and excitement spread as fitness tech companies wondered if Apple’s bold new move would wipe out competitors or open up the wearable fitness gadgets market to a wider audience. For today’s blog we explore the current status of the wearable tech market, look at the variety of fitness gadgets and apps out there, and consider what the future holds for the wearable fitness tech industry.

Wearable Tech – A growing market.

Today one in every four smartphone owners use their device to track their health, diet, or exercise, with women using fitness apps 200% more than men do. There are 27,522 Healthcare & Fitness listed in the App Store which equates to almost 3% of all apps in the market, and with Apple’s watch coming out in early 2015 this is only set to rise.

It is estimated that by 2017, there will be 1.4 billion mobile sensing health and fitness app downloads globally, and last year the wearable smartphone-enabled digital fitness device category was worth a staggering $330m US. With Apple making moves to enter this market, the future is looking bright for the wearable tech industry.

What is currently dominating the fitness technology market?

To answer this question we have to examine two specific niches
wearable tech and fitness applications.

Nike Fuelband

  • Motion sensors to track your movement through the day, translating your activity into 'Nike Fuel' points
  • Compare your Nike Fuel to others for extra motivation
  • Counts the steps you take - 10,000 per day is seen as a good indicator of a healthy lifestyle

Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale

  • These wireless smart scales tell you your weight, track weight changes and monitor your BMI and body fat percentage
  • Can be used by up to seven people
  • The data is uploaded and available online or in a free iPhone app
  • Can be paired with one of Fitbit's activity trackers to add even more data

Garmin Vivofit Fitness Band

  • Motivates you to be active throughout the day by displaying a red move bar after one hour of inactivity
  • Additional segments light up for every 15 minutes of inactivity and can be reset with a couple of minutes’ walk
  • Learns your activity level and assigns a personalized goal each morning
  • Records calories burned throughout the day including base metabolic rate

Fitbug Orb

  • Tracks your steps, calories burned, distance and sleep day and night
  • The data is uploaded and available online or in a free iPhone app
  • Lifetime membership to Fit bug KiK – Fitbug's online platform and personal digital coach
What is currently dominating the fitness technology market?

Smart fitness on your Smartphone

My Fitness Pal

  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Track calories without having to crunch the numbers yourself.
  • Monitor what you eat using the barcode scanner
  • Search the database of more than three million foods


  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Provides a reward system for anyone struggling with motivation.
  • The aim is to get to the highest level possible by logging the exercises you've done
  • Brag about your achievements with Facebook-style updates

Couch to 5k

  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Promises to get you running 5km with ease in nine weeks.
  • Starting with walking and light jogging, its step-by-step programme aims to gradually increase your fitness
  • Helps you go from a beginner to a confident runner in only three training sessions a week

iMuscle 2

  • Cost: $6.49
  • Platform: iOS
  • Allows you to choose which muscles you want to train from a detailed anatomical diagram and it will suggest exercises.
  • Provides you with detailed animation of the muscles themselves, so you know how to make the best of the workouts.
What is currently dominating the fitness technology market?

How are the competitors
to Apple’s bold move?

Jason Jacobs Runkeeper

“Having a company like Apple proclaim that health and fitness is an important strategic category for their business is both scary and exciting — scary because it means the innovation bar is very high, but exciting because Apple commits to a category only when it is poised to become truly mainstream.”
- Jason Jacobs, CEO and founder of RunKeeper.

Travis Bogard Jawbone

“Our vision is not about winning a hardware arms race, or just moving more units than the other guys… It’s about people, and the thing we all cherish the most — our health, and the health of our family and friends. By opening UP to everyone we have the best chance of realizing our vision of helping people to live better — and we look forward to working with others on the market to achieve that.”
- Travis Bogard, Vice President Of Product Management And Strategy at Jawbone

Jef Holove Basis

“Anytime a major brand enters a market, they are absolutely influential in driving awareness…We think more awareness of and credibility in the market is good for consumers and good for the growth of the category. We still see a significant opportunity for more specialized, needs-based products and Basis is a prime example. We’ll continue to focus on advanced offerings in the fitness and sleep tracking category.”
- Jef Holove, CEO of Basis


The future of wearable fitness gadgets

It is estimated that sales of wearable tech items are going to triple in 2014, meaning a whopping 19 million units will be sold worldwide. Wearable technology is not going away, and it is looking like wearables are going to be the future of technology, with researching indicating that there will be 111.9 million units sold globally by 2018. Consumers are aware of this market, with 70% of consumers indicating that they know about smart watches and fitness bands and 15% currently use wearable gadgets in their daily lives. With a giant like Apple stepping into this market, it is huge indicator that the best is yet to come in the fitness gadget market.