By 2016: $400M market for health, fitness apps

By: Chris Gullo | Nov 28, 2011        

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Garmin's app, Garmin Fit

The market for sports and fitness apps will cross $400 million in 2016, according to a new report from ABI Research. The rise of apps for connected wearable fitness devices will be a primary factor in the industry’s growth (ABI predicted 80 million such sensors by 2016). ABI predicts that there will be more than 1 billion annual health-related app downloads by the year 2016.

Apps market growth will be strong over the next five years, increasingly rapidly from the $120 million market reported in 2010. Growth will be spurred primarily by sports and fitness applications replacing proprietary devices for viewing data from fitness sensors, with the data collected via the new low-energy Bluetooth 4.0 standard, which has been branded “Bluetooth Smart”. Other prominent app categories include home monitoring, personal emergency response services (PERS), and remote monitoring applications.

“Downloadable apps are moving the sports tracking device market from proprietary devices to mobile phones, but adoption has been limited by the data they can collect. However, with the connectivity that Bluetooth Smart will embed in mobile handsets, wearable devices will bring greater detail to mobile handsets,” stated Jonathan Collins, ABI principal analyst, in a press release.

The report makes note of fitness device industry stalwarts, including Garmin and Polar, who recently began offering mobile applications in response to the increasing number of startups entering the fitness tracking space.

While growth in the space will be strong, revenue from mobile apps will not match up with downloads: “As applications increasingly become part of a bundle that ships with wearable devices, revenues from mobile applications will lag behind the growth in app downloads. Mobile application downloads will actually grow at nearly twice the rate of revenues between 2010 and 2016.” stated Collins.

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For more on consumer health apps, check out our recent report in our research library.

Read the press release below.

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  • Speedess01

    Quote: “…but adoption has been limited by the data they can collect. However, with the connectivity that Bluetooth Smart will embed…” – Jonathan Collins, ABI principal analyst. 
    In my opinion the adoption has been limited because, in the first place people were unaware that they can use their mobile phone as a sports training device and because there weren’t enough accessories on the market that would make working out easier (e.g. armbands, bike holders, extended bateries etc.), as well as the limited battery life of smartphones with GPS on.

    On the other hand, most smartphones at the moment have the ability to connect to external sensors (such as heart rate monitors) through Bluetooth and/or ANT+ so lack of data is not the problem, and the new Bluetooth Smart won’t bring anything that we haven’t seen before. As a matter of fact, there’s only one Bluetooth Smart enabled heart rate monitor available fro pre-order at the moment, and I doubt will see others soon. 

  • Deano

    Mobile apps are great for when you’re on the move and compliment more traditional fitness equipment perfectly when used in conjunction. For example, you can monitor your progress and performance levels whilst on the train or at work. However, for best results I still believe that you cannot neglect traditional proven methods and therefore, you should also be training at home. For a large selection of Fitness and Muscle training equipment, check out I’ve bought a treadmill from them that has really helped me to improve my fitness levels as I don’t have much time to get to the gym these days!

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