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KT For Good: 'Wrist' control of your health, fitness

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According to an International Data Corporation report for the second quarter of 2019, wrist-worn wearables continued a 'strong growth trajectory'.



By Alvin R. Cabral

Published: Thu 24 Oct 2019, 10:42 PM

Last updated: Fri 25 Oct 2019, 12:57 AM

Dubai resident Leigh Prieto is scheduled to be a bridesmaid at a friend's wedding in January and, like any other woman prepping up for the role, she's keeping a close watch on her figure.
"I have to be in shape for my dress," she said with a laugh, acknowledging that she isn't exactly dedicated to her diet and exercise regime - until her brother gave her a fitness tracker as a gift recently.
"Now I have something on me that inspires and challenges me. It tells me the steps I need to take, the targets I need to exceed, all those that would help me achieve my goal for the wedding," Prieto said.
Fitness trackers and smartwatches have crept into consumer consciousness at a rapid pace that it's inspiring a whole new generation of health-oriented individuals and groups - the Dubai Fitness Challenge being a noteworthy example of the latter.
What started as a niche sector that once catered to mid-to-high-income earners - an effect of first-generation devices - has exploded into a more inclusive industry, spanning all classes and ages.
According to an International Data Corporation report for the second quarter of 2019, wrist-worn wearables continued a 'strong growth trajectory'.
Xiaomi maintained its position atop, thanks to its Mi Band 4, followed by Apple, which recently launched its Apple Watch Series 5. Huawei came in third, thanks largely to its strategy of bundling its wearables with its smartphones in certain markets.
Market pioneer Fitbit was fourth, boosted by large-scale tie-ups, including supplying bands to Singapore's public health initiative and joining hands with the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment for this year's Dubai Fitness Challenge. Samsung came in fifth, but it posted the biggest growth in the top five because of its new low-cost devices.
Statista, meanwhile, said that in 2018, global revenue from the wearables sector crossed $26.43 billion, with shipments hitting 172.2 million. Of that last figure, 53 million were smartwatches.
IHS Markit - in a recent study titled Consumer Profiling Report-2019 tackling early adoption on devices that include smartwatches - said the way these gadgets will be used at the onset will be critical to understanding how they will become mainstream in the future.
"The successful sellers. will be those that can demonstrate the value of their products to everyday people," James Allison, principal analyst for consumer devices at IHS Markit, said in the report. "Declining prices and increasingly compelling capabilities will be critical to attracting a larger audience."
The research firm also adds that global smartwatch production will leap from 30.7 million units this year to 92.8 million in 2023.
alvin@khaleejtimes.com


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