Apple is not showing any signs of slowing down in the wearables market. The company’s wearables and accessories division generated revenue of nearly $25 billion last year alone, and Apple still ships more wearables than any other company. With a firm hold on the market, Apple is now pushing forward with two brand-new models, the Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE, and a subscription-based coaching service, Fitness+, which is likely to appeal to an increasingly health-conscious wearables audience.
As expected, Apple Watch SE, a budget option for $279, and Apple Watch Series 6 ($399) both come with improved hardware and features – Series 6 in particular is said to be 20% faster than its predecessor. But, the real star of the show is arguably the Fitness+ service, which connects users to trainers and offers customized workouts on an individual basis across a variety of activities, including cycling, strength training, yoga, treadmill, dance and more. New workout videos are scheduled to launch on a weekly basis.
Apple is hoping to lure new users to the service by giving away three months free to any purchasers of Apple Watch Series 3 and later models. Additionally, a one-month trial is available to all users, with regular pricing kicking in at $9.99 per month or $79.99 annually. An important bundle strategy was also unveiled – Apple One combines a variety of services at various subscription tiers, with the Premier version ($29.95 per month) offering the complete Apple ecosystem: Fitness+, News+, Music, TV+, Arcade, iCloud storage, and services for up to five family members.
Fitness+ is a bold attempt by Apple to capitalize on the current fitness trend in wearables. The good news for the company is that its users are more likely to use a paid coaching service, and there is ample room for usage growth within their consumer base. Interpret’s New Media Measure® indicates that 7% of Apple Watch users overall currently use an in-app paid service from a wellness/fitness coach, with 12% of Apple Watch Series 5 users opting for a paid coaching service. That puts Apple ahead of Samsung and Fitbit in terms of fitness monetization, with significant growth opportunities for all parties in the future.
“Apple continues to innovate in the wearables category even as it comes under increasing pressure from competitors like Samsung and Google-owned Fitbit. Leveraging a subscription service along with bundle options is a smart play,” said Harry Wang, SVP, Interpret. “Apple’s vast smart watch user base will give the company a significant new recurring revenue source, especially when Fitness+ is part of Apple’s new service bundle, Apple One.”