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Garmin Grows in the Wearables Market with Device, Community, and Third-Party App Strategies

Posted on: 12 Jul, 2016

Garmin was an early mover and pioneer in the wearables market when it introduced the Forerunner 201 in 2003 – its first GPS enabled wearable targeting the running market. Since then, Garmin has shipped more than 20 million wearable devices. The Garmin wearables strategy is centered on purpose-built devices for consumers who want to measure and enhance their active lifestyle pursuits, whether it’s running, cycling, swimming, golfing, walking, or simply being more active.

But the strategy doesn’t end there. Nearly 11 years ago, the Garmin Connect™ online community was formed which recognized the value in storing, tracking, analyzing, and sharing of fitness and other data that its customers collect. Today, Garmin Connect has over 15 million user accounts, with 5 million new users joining in 2015 alone. Garmin Connect enhances motivation by enabling users to compete with family and friends who also live active lifestyles, and offers insights to individual users to help them reach health and wellness goals and recognize accomplishments. The Garmin Connect community is supported by a powerful ecosystem of partners like Nike, Strava, MyFitnessPal and MapMyFitness enabling customers to experience fully the data they collect on their wearable within the community of their choice.

The most recent – and fastest growing – pillar of the Garmin wearables strategy is its Connect IQ™ Application Store, which was established less than two years ago. Since then users have downloaded over 10 million Connect IQ apps – all of which are free. In fact, Connect IQ users on average download approximately 10 apps per device. This high level of engagement is the result of the rich utility that third-party apps provide such as maps, weather forecasts, custom workouts, custom data fields, widgets, watch faces, and many more ways to make their devices their own.

“We are experiencing strong momentum in the wearables market as a result of an intentional focus on key strategies. We believe that wearable devices enable and enhance a broad range of active lifestyles, and we offer purpose-built devices designed specifically for those lifestyles,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin president and CEO. “To that we add a compelling online user community where users track their fitness goals and progress over time and motivate themselves and others to achieve even more. Finally, we offer a rich set of third-party apps, widgets, and watch faces that allow users to customize their device making it both useful and fun. Garmin is a leader in the wearables market because we offer a broad and deep range of devices, a powerful user community, and personalization enabled through third-party apps.”