Revenue for activity monitors set to jump by nearly 50 percent

Global market revenue for sports, fitness and activity monitors could rise by 46 percent from 2013 through 2019, expanding by nearly $1 billion as health-conscious consumers rush to buy devices ranging from heart-rate monitors to running computers, according to IHS Technology. Worldwide OEM revenue from sales of sports, fitness and activity monitors is set to rise to $2.8 billion in 2019, up from $1.9 billion in 2013.

The total installed base represented by the various monitors will expand to 120 million units in 2019, up from 84 in 2013.

“We expect the market for traditional, dedicated sports, fitness and activity monitors will continue to thrive even amid the encroachment of smartphones and of multifunction wearable devices such as smart glasses,” said Shane Walker, senior manager for medical devices and healthcare IT research at IHS. There is continued demand for chest strap heart-rate monitors despite alternatives that make use of optical technologies, and sales of running computers with the global positioning system (GPS) are still climbing. Beyond consumer demand, sales of activity monitors will be stimulated over the long term by corporate wellness programs, and from healthcare providers who may use the devices as part of a prescription for their patients.”

The fitness monitor market encompasses a wide range of products, including fitness and heart-rate monitors, sports and running computers, outdoor-pursuit computers, cycle computers, activity monitors and pedometers. The vast majority of the most common devices are priced at less than $200.

The aggregate growth in revenue for the entire fitness industry is estimated at 12.5 percent between the years 2010 and 2013. This is inclusive of the top 20 companies providing sports monitors, apparel, footwear, and nutrition in addition to retailers and other manufacturers.

IHS estimates that the health club industry saw revenues increase to nearly $78 billion in 2013—providing further evidence that the fitness market is resilient even in difficult economic conditions.

The lingering effects of the recession will manifest in increased smartphone usage for sports and fitness applications as consumers look for ways to restrain spending. However, IHS continues to forecast that smartphones and similar devices will not hinder positive growth for dedicated monitors.

This is because dedicated devices are better suited for many activities, especially outdoor cycling, hiking, climbing, swimming and any activity where inclement weather is possible. Not only are they designed with form factors suited to these activities, but other aspects, such as battery life, are considered as well. IHS also forecasts that interest from emerging markets will help to offset any decline in established economies.

There has been a surge of interest in the sports monitoring space over the last two years, with numerous new entrants in the market. While some of these players will not remain in the market for the long term, IHS expects veterans such as Polar, Suunto and Garmin will continue to serve customers with high-end wrist-based computers.



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