Xiaomi, who recently finished third in Q2 2015 wearable devices shipped (behind Fitbit and Apple), just launched a new device that may move it further up the market share ladder. Its new device, the Mi Band Pulse, tracks steps, sleep, and heart rate, making it a direct competitor to Fitbit’s flagship devices. The device also has alarm and notification capabilities. However, unlike Fitbit, these capabilities do not come with a hefty price tag; the Mi Band Pulse will retail for $15, making it one the most feature-rich and affordable devices on the market.
Unlike like its predecessor, the Mi Band, the device will support Android and iPhone smartphones at product launch. The device will only be sold in China initially, but experts expect the device to be available globally through Xiaomi’s global online store soon. The original Mi Band is already available internationally and will be available for a slightly lower price of $11.
The name recognition of Xiaomi is far below many of its competitors, but even prior to this new product launch, it was taking on household names like Apple and Fitbit for control of the wearable market. This is without material penetration into the corporate wellness market, which has been identified as growth segment by the Founder and CEO of Fitbit. The question for corporate wellness professionals is whether this device will be an alternative to Fitbits. With a 20 day battery life (which makes it less likely to end up in a drawer because users forgot to charge it) and fractions of the cost, many would agree that this technology has the power to break Fitbits stronghold on the corporate wellness market. Only time will tell.
In the meantime, employers should focus their budgets away from devices and toward other wellness benefits. The best way to do this while incorporating wearable devices and mobile apps is through a bring your own device (BYOD) wellness strategy. Download this white paper to learn more about a BYOD wellness strategy.