Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has already given its fitness tracker two chances. The tech titan has disbanded the Band and has pulled listings from the Microsoft Store. Microsoft conceded that there will not be a third edition of the Band this year. The tech firm said that it will still explore wearable technology, but it has stopped producing wearables for the time being.
Microsoft Corporation Ditches the Band
It was two years ago this month that Microsoft unveiled the Band. It is a fitness tracker in the same vain as Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT), Misfit and all of the other fitness wearables. The product never was able capture a large share of the market. Many lambasted the Band because of its awkward design and discomfort. The tech firm released a second-generation device, but also failed to make any big gains.
Microsoft has given up. It will not release a third generation, and has pulled Band listings entirely from its Store. The company even removed the Band software development kit (SDK) on Monday.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that it sold through its existing Band 2 inventory. It did promise to support its Band 2 users through the Microsoft Stores and various support channels. The media rep added that Microsoft will continue to invest in the Microsoft Health platform. It remains unknown how exactly Microsoft can push its health services to the consuming public.
Experts contend that the Band was never meant to be a major seller. Instead, Microsoft wanted to gather large amounts of data for its health platform and cloud services. Despite not being able to achieve either, pundits argue that Microsoft needs a better product or needs to integrate with another firm’s popular item.
For all of your fitness tracking needs, you can now head on over to Fitbit or Garmin.
Can Microsoft Corporation Succeed in the Wearable Market?
You can understand why Microsoft wanted to get in on the wearable tech market. It is projected that the wearable tech industry will be worth as much as $34 billion in the next four years.
Twenty percent of Americans own a wearable device, and the adoption rate is expected to spike. Reports suggest that both millennials and early adopters of wearable tech are excited about the industry’s future. They’re particularly enthusiastic regarding its simplicity, ability to improve our lives and safety.
Experts aver that entertainment, media and communications (EMC), health, retail and technology brands need to inject wearable tech in their strategies.
“Businesses must evolve their existing mobile-first strategy to now include the wearable revolution and deliver perceived value to the consumer in an experiential manner,” said Deborah Bothun, PwC’s U.S. advisory EMC leader, in a report. “Relevance is the baseline, but then there is a consumer list of requirements to enable interaction with the brand in a mobile and wearable environment.”
When it comes to wearable fitness, the competition is expanding. Fitbit still controls the market share, but it is gradually slipping. Thanks to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s Watch and low-cost fitness trackers from China-based Xiaomi, Fitbit’s market share stands at just 27 percent.
Microsoft was hoping to grab a piece of that immense pie with the Band. Those plans are on hold.