How Google can compete with Apple in wearables

November 18, 2019 //By Rich Pell
How Google can compete with Apple in wearables
With a new survey by business news and how-to site The Manifest showing that nearly 70% of people in the U.S. either own at least one wearable or plan to buy one in the next year, the site looks at how Google - with its acquistion of Fitbit - can compete with Apple in the wearables market.

The survey of 581 people across the U.S. found that 56% own at least one wearable, and 13% plan to buy one in the next year. With Google's recent acquisition of wearable company Fitbit, says the site, this indicates that the smartwatch market will only grow more competitive and bring new competition to a market currently dominated by Apple.

Apple has the advantage with a winning smartwatch product brand and the largest cut of the wearable market. To compete, the site says, Google could combine its Android-based Wear OS software designed for smartwatches and other wearables with Fitbit's clean hardware into one smartwatch, creating a threat to Apple's control of the market.

Fitbit is known for its simple design and great user experience, but has not been able to fully compete with Apple's software. Google's Wear OS software may take Fitbit's features to the next level, says the site.

If the Apple Watch has a weakness, it could be its battery life. Half of people (50%) wear their fitness tracker or smartwatch all the time and 31% of people wear their device consistently, says the site, so the 18-hour battery life of the Apple Watch could be of concern to users who want uninterrupted usage.

Conversely, Fitbit has extended the battery life of its smart watches - Versa and Ionic - to four to five days. As a result, the site says, Google may be able to capitalize on Fitbit's longer battery life to create a more seamless experience for customers who want to use their smartwatch uninterrupted.

Finally, with the acquisition of Fitbit, Google gained a consumer health database that rivals Apple. Fitbit has the location, health, and financial information of its more than 28 million active users. Such data, says the site, can be leveraged by Google to make a better smartwatch.

This could be a double edged sword, however, as some Fitbit users are already expressing concerns

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