​And finally: Garmin discounts, Wear OS losses and Fitbit gains

We look at the week's wearable tech happenings
Google and Wear OS are losing hard
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Welcome to And finally, the last word on the week in wearable tech. It's been a pretty busy one in Wareable towers, with a slew of new Garmin Forerunners landing.

The Garmin Forerunner 945, Forerunner 245 and Forerunner 45 overhaul the company's running watch line-up, bringing music playback and heart rate analysis even to the budget end of the range.

What's more, we had pictures of the new Xiaomi Mi Band 4, which we revealed would land in 2019 with all-new features – and there's news that it could be released imminently. But read on for the rest of the week's headlines:

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus and 5S Plus discounted to their lowest ever prices

And finally: Wear OS loses out as Fitbit makes gains

While Garmin might have unveiled new running watches this week, discounts on some of its existing models might be more what you're after.

Currently, Amazon has discounted both the Fenix 5 Plus and the smaller Fenix 5S Plus, taking both excellent multisport watches down to their lowest ever prices. Both models come highly recommended by us and even more so at these prices.

Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Save $150
Garmin Fenix 5 Plus - Save $150

Garmin Fenix 5S Plus - Save $150
Garmin Fenix 5S Plus - Save $150

Apple cleans up, as Wear OS struggles

And Finally: Apple and Fitbit are winning the smartwatch war

We’ve already had word from Apple this week that it’s smashing sales of the Apple Watch. Figures from the company’s Q1 earning call showed revenue 50% up, making it the best non-holiday quarter of all time. But now we have a view on how the rest of the industry is faring – thanks to more earnings reports and a new study by Counterpoint Research. It estimates Apple to have a whopping 35.8% of the smartwatch market.

In our analysis of the Apple earnings we said that the company always leaves room for others to play, and the platform agnostic and more wallet-friendly Fitbit Versa has been a notable benefactor.

TechCrunch reports that Fitbit has managed to grow its smartwatch sales 117% year-on-year, helping the company to $271.9 million of revenue - thanks to the Fitbit Versa. And don’t say fitness trackers are dead either: the company managed to grow that 17% as well with the Inspire HR on point. What’s more the company managed to grow its market share to 5.5%,

But it’s not all good news at the big smartwatch success party, and the Counterpoint Research study highlights a worrying lack of market share for Fossil. It estimates Fossil’s share to have dropped from 3.2% to 2.5% – the biggest loser in the big brands, reports 9to5Google.

It’s also the only Wear OS manufacturer in the list. Samsung grew its market share sharply with the Tizen running Galaxy Watch, as did Huawei with the Watch GT with its own proprietary software. There’s a trend, and it’s not looking good for Wear OS.


Polar Vantage watches get update

And Finally: WearOS loses out as Fitbit makes gains

If you’re using the Polar Vantage V or M sports watches then look out for the over-the-air updates that landed this week. The company has overhauled the fitness tracking aspects, and will offer guidance on being less sedentary within the app. It’s an area that was neglected on the Polar Vantage V, presumably as it was aimed at prosumer athletes, but the company has clearly received serious feedback.

But keep looking out for updates, as the watches are scheduled for even more features in October 2019. Update 4.0 will bring a fitness test, heart rate zone locks, and more details in the training files on your watch, with deeper Strava integrations in December 2019.

Homemade smartwatch schools tech giants

And Finally: WearOS loses out as Fitbit makes gains

Smartwatches are getting more and more advanced, so let’s take a moment to appreciate the simplicity of this homemade project made by creator Samson March. He created his own custom OS (coded from C) and used off the shelf components to create a simple smartwatch capable of displaying notifications and the time – and nothing else

There’s no touchscreen and everything is just controlled by gestures – built into a case that March 3D printed using 70% plastic and 30% wood to create a unique, natural-looking effect. He’s also chosen some killer wallpapers, and created something genuinely wearable and desirable – it makes you wonder why some wearable makers have found it so challenging.

The code for the unnamed watch is available on Github.

TAGGEDWearables

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