Week in wearable: Fitbit smartwatches on the up, but Apple remains on top

Catch up on the week's biggest wearable news
The week in wearable tech
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With the calendar rolling over to August, we're on the cusp of crunch time in the tech calendar. Armed with new smartwatches and more, companies are making the final preparations ahead of the busy fall launch period.

As a result, there's seemingly daily leaks emerging involving all the big names - Apple, Samsung, Huawei and Fitbit. And while we're getting used to this steady stream of rumours and renders, this week has also seen the performance of these same industry players during the last financial quarter made public.

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To make sure you're up to date on both the leaks and the trending wearable companies, we'll be taking this Week in wearable to highlight the dominance of the Apple Watch, Fitbit's change in fortunes and the company's potential new flagship fitness tracker.

Apple's smartwatch dominance

The week in wearable tech: Fitbit is on the up again, but Apple remains atop the smartwatch tree

For some time now, we've known that the Apple Watch - and particularly the Series 3 models - have been proving popular around the globe.

And this week we got the latest numbers to confirm its place at the top of the smartwatch pack. In the company's Q2 earnings call, Tim Cook noted that the Apple Watch registered a record-breaking quarter, improving in revenue growth in about the mid-40% range year-over-year.

We know, of course, that Apple doesn't break out individual numbers itself (instead grouping the Watch into its 'Other' category), though Canalys has estimated that the quarter saw Apple ship a total of 3.5 million units, which would represent a 30% improvement over the performance in the same quarter last year.

The competition is improving, too, but the Apple Watch Series 4 - expected next month - will likely help the smartwatch crown stay firmly on the head of the Cupertino giant. Stay tuned to see how the next quarter shakes out.

Fitbit's on the comeback trail

The week in wearable tech: Fitbit is on the up again, but Apple remains atop the smartwatch tree

Speaking of Apple Watch competition, Fitbit this week indicated that its smartwatches have helped force a relative U-turn in the company's fortunes.

In its Q2 financial earnings, Fitbit announced that its success was led by the Versa smartwatch, which CEO James Park also mentioning that it was able to individually outsell devices from Samsung, Garmin and Fossil in North America combined. That's right - combined.

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As a result, smartwatches now make up of 55% of Fitbit's revenue, and that's up a mammoth 30% on a sequential basis. But its not just the Versa seeing success, either, which is good news for Fitbit. Other devices released over the past year, the Ionic, Aria 2 and Flyer headphones, join the Versa in making up 59% of Fitbit's total revenue.

With the market continuing to shift towards smartwatches and away from fitness trackers, the news will be a relief at Fitbit HQ. It's proven it can produce a mass appeal watch, and the challenge now becomes replicating this success and eating into Apple's extensive lead.


Fitbit Charge 3 images leak

The week in wearable tech: Fitbit is on the up again, but Apple remains atop the smartwatch tree

Smartwatches may have proven themselves as the go-to wearable for Fitbit, but that doesn't mean it's giving up on extending its flagship fitness tracker line just yet.

We've heard whispers about a Fitbit Charge 3 for some time, and this week we may have received our first look at the device. There's little to glean with regard to specs or features from the above photo, naturally, but it does show us that the company is continuing to prioritise customisation (with two different bands shown above, as well as more variants in further leaked images) and the design is does have shades of its smartwatches - particularly on the underside.

As ever, it's impossible to know the reliability of these kind of leaks. However, with IFA on the horizon, it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see Fitbit use the expo to officially unveil the Charge 3 as its new flagship tracker. Expect to hear more on that possibility over the next few weeks.


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