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Rising Demand for Fitness Trackers: A Boon for Apple and Fitbit?

There's about a 1-in-4 chance you're planning on buying a fitness tracker device during the next three months -- at least according to a recent survey of 4,500 U.S. consumers by analyst William Power of investment bank Robert W. Baird (via Investor's Business Daily ). The intent to buy is higher now than the last time Power surveyed respondents about their interest in purchasing a fitness tracker. The data continues to support a story of growing demand for smart bands and smartwatches like those sold by Fitbit and Apple .

Rising demand

The 24.5% of participants in Power's survey who intend to buy a fitness tracker during the next three months is up from 14% of respondents in a survey in December of last year, and 21.5% of respondents in an August survey who expressed plans to buy a fitness device.

Both Apple and Fitbit are set to benefit from the increasing interest in fitness trackers, according to the survey. Those who indicated they wanted to buy a Fitbit device increased from 5% in December 2014 and 9.5% in August to 12.1% in November. Interest in the Apple Watch also increased, with 5.4% of respondents indicating they would buy an Apple Watch, up from 5% in August and 4.1% in December 2014.

It has been interesting to watch demand in the product category play out, as there were concerns Apple Watch could stifle growth potential for Fitbit. So far, however, the total growth in the category seems to be benefiting both brands.

In line with the results from this survey, which suggest demand for Fitbit continues to rise at a rapid rate despite Apple's presence in the fitness tracker category, Fitbit CEO James Park said during the company's most recent earnings call that Apple Watch has had "no material impact" on the company, noting that the "Apple Watch and the Fitbit line of products are catering to two very different segments of the market."

Business implications

For Fitbit, studies like this can be useful. With trailing-12-month revenue of just $1.5 billion, and given that the holiday quarter has historically represented its biggest quarter of sales, it's excellent news to hear demand for its fitness trackers is looking optimistic. Fitness tracker products represent virtually all of the company's revenue, so it's important for demand to continue growing rapidly.

Fitbit products. Image source: Fitbit.

For Apple, however, Apple Watch sales are still fairly unimportant to the company's overall financial results. During the tech giant's most recent quarter, for instance, its Other Products category -- the category Apple Watch sales are buried in -- accounted for just 5.9% of the company's total revenue. And Apple Watch represents only a small fraction of this category.

The most useful takeaway for investors here is that the survey provides evidence that Fitbit's expectations for 2015 revenue to be around $1.77 to $1.8 billion, which represents 140% growth compared to 2014 revenue, seem easily attainable.

Further, it's good to see that Apple Watch isn't slowing Fitbit's growth yet, but this doesn't mean Apple Watch couldn't become a headwind for the smaller tech company in 2016 and beyond .

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The article Rising Demand for Fitness Trackers: A Boon for Apple and Fitbit? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Daniel Sparks owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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