Image source: Samsung

Why Samsung Galaxy Fit3 won’t be hitting US shores

Fans of affordable fitness trackers in the US will be left disappointed with the news that the Samsung Galaxy Fit3 will not be hitting American shores. While Samsung representatives attributed this decision to “market trends and the needs for each region” in a statement to Android Central, a closer look reveals a more complex picture.

The wearable made its official debut a couple of days ago. But despite the anticipation built up through months of leaks, the fitness tracker will only be available in specific regions. Most likely, this will include Europe, Asia, and South America, with a subsequent release in Korea. Which means, the U.S. market will not see the release of the Galaxy Fit 3.

“Samsung looks holistically across our product portfolio and bundling optimal devices together that align with the market trends and needs for each region,” a Samsung rep told Android Central.

The shifting tide in wearables

At first glance, this might seem like a strange decision. And perhaps it is.

Most likely, Samsung does not perceive a sufficiently large market for fitness trackers in the U.S. to justify the costs associated with marketing, distribution, and software support for the Galaxy Fit 3.

Market research data paints a telling picture. Global fitness band sales have steadily dwindled in recent years. They dropped from around 80 million globally in 2020 to an estimated 33 million in 2023. This downturn highlights a growing consumer preference for smartwatches, which offer more advanced features, a wider range of notifications, and third-party app support. While fitness trackers retain their appeal for some users, smartwatches are steadily encroaching on their territory.

The business of wearables: Margins and competition

They may be other reasons, as well. While fitness trackers can offer attractive price points, their profit margins might not always justify the investment, especially in a declining market. Companies like Samsung need to weigh the marketing, distribution, and software support costs required for a successful US launch against potential returns.

It’s likely Samsung found the risk might outweigh the potential reward. Especially considering the intense competition from the increasing number of budget-friendly options from Xiaomi, Zepp Health and others – which can undercut sales.

Furthermore, the US market’s heavy adoption of iPhones cannot be overlooked. Samsung, once supportive of its Galaxy Fit series on iOS, has refocused on prioritizing Android devices. This shift can likely be attributed to Apple’s strategy of limiting features for non-Apple Watch wearables, further segmenting the market.

Essential readingTop fitness trackers and health gadgets

Finally, less developed markets often present a more attractive environment for lower-cost fitness bands. This is because price sensitivity is typically higher in these markets, making budget-friendly fitness trackers a more appealing option for consumers with limited disposable income. Also, a wider variety of feature phones are still in use. Finally, the desire for basic health and fitness tracking remains universal.

Is there still a future for fitness trackers?

Samsung’s decision underscores the challenges facing fitness trackers. Dedicated users who prioritize pure fitness tracking, simplicity, long battery life, and affordability may still find value in this wearable category. Yet, as smartwatches continue to improve, offer expanded capabilities, and command a broader appeal, the niche for fitness trackers could shrink further.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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