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While Fitbit still dominates the market for fitness bands, consumers are showing a growing preference for smartwatches, according to a new report from Argus Insights.

“While Fitbit is clearly the overall leader compared to the other fitness bands such as Jawbone, Garmin and Misfit, a lead that is continuing to grow even over the last month, in the overall wearables category where smartwatches come into play, fitness bands in general are dropping as a share of the market,” said John Feland, chief executive and founder of Argus Insights, in a statement.

The latest numbers come as Fitbit marches toward a closely watched IPO. Earlier this month, Fitbit filed to raise $100 million in an IPO.

In its report, Argus noted that Fitbit said in the IPO filing that it has a 68 percent market share in fitness bands. And indeed, Argus said Fitbit still holds a massive lead over competitors and is in fact expanding that lead. Clearly, when people think about fitness bands, they primarily think about Fitbit, according to Argus.

That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that when it comes to the overall category of wearables, Fitbit has less than 50 percent market share and is falling. Argus claimed that Fitbit’s launch of its Surge smartwatch has fizzled, and that, overall, consumers are losing interest in standalone fitness bands.

“People get tired of the fitness bands and throw them in the sock drawer,” Feland said in the report. “They stop being useful, people lose their fitness momentum — all similar reasons as to why people quit going to the gym. Right now our data indicate that other more comprehensive devices are taking over for fitness trackers.”

The report doesn’t include much data on the Apple Watch, which just launched. However, Argus suggested Fitbit needs to reboot its own smartwatch efforts to remain competitive over the long run.

“We recommend a wait and see attitude when it comes to Fitbit and their future,” Feland said in the report.


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