App Ecosystem Opportunities

App Ecosystem Opportunities is the leading source of research and analysis on mobile application trends, developer attitude, and consumer usage. The service provides in-depth analysis on platform performance, content owner strategies, and operators attempts to thrive in the app economy.

April 1, 2015 11:21 dmacqueen

The interwebs were awash today with April Fool’s joke press releases, here are a few of my favourites:

Many of these joke products are actually already in the market as real products. MS-DOS of course has been around for many a year, and although it was a joke I think quite a few people may prefer MS-DOS to Windows Phone. Nokia’s joke already exists as a real product, “FitBark” amongst many others. Sony is basically parodying itself, having earlier filed a patent for the “SmartWig”. Opera’s ad network is the essence of Facebook or LinkedIn, just paid for rather than paid by advertising. Domino’s delivery system mirrors Google’s autonomous cars and Amazon’s drone delivery (yet to take off, if you pardon the pun). What’s a joke product, and what’s real? Who is the butt of the joke when it comes to some of these real products? The venture capitalists that fund them? Hence the question, which the scientists at CERN reminded me of: who’s the more foolish? The fool, or the fool who follows him?

And speaking of Amazon, what I had assumed was an April Fool’s joke actually turned out to be real – the Amazon Dash Button, which I can only describe as a rampant venture capitalist’s wet dream of the Internet of Things and connected home, turned into an environmentalist’s nightmare. For me, Amazon has won April Fool’s this year – it may be a real product, so the humour may be unintentional, but to quote the great satirist Jonathan Swift: “Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own.”

March 5, 2015 10:22 AThorwart

During its live “Made to Game” campaign at the GDC conference, NVIDIA announced the next evolution in the Android based microconsole market with its Shield console. It is actually a cross-over device between PC cloud gaming and mobile gaming, but it also comes with 4k video streaming capabilities through top streaming apps like Hulu and YouTube, just to name a few. However it is a gaming first platform and the Shield microconsole currently highlights a catalog of 80 games (30 from the Grid and 50 Android based).

The Launch isn’t until May 2015 so there is a lot more to be learned about the product and its offerings, but two key factors stick out to me as to why the Shield might not be a good buy for consumers.

  • For starters, the price point is $199. The price in a stand-alone environment isn’t the issue, but when we introduce prices to similar microconsoles the picture becomes a little bleaker for NVIDIA. Take another top microconsole, Amazon Fire TV, as an example. The Fire TV costs $99 without a dedicated gaming controller or $140 with game controller – which the Shield does include into its $199 package. However, if we are comparing it to other PC cloud streaming devices then it is actually a bargain considering a competitor device like the Alienware Alpha i3 4GB console is priced at $499.
  • Secondly, the game catalog lacks in size and in differentiating itself from other microconsoles. The initial 80 game catalog is smaller in comparison to what both OUYA and Fire TV had at launch and neither of those devices had impressive sales like expected, especially OUYA which had all the hype leading up to its launch. The other concern with the game catalog is the fact that 18% of the available Android games are also available for Fire TV so there isn’t a ton of differentiation between titles available for each microconsole. Some of the top cross-over titles include Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne and Rockstar Game’s Grand Theft Auto: China Wars. App availability for OUYA and Amazon Fire TV were covered extensively in our Amazon Fire TV Apps insight published in January 2015.

What to expect from this announcement?

Microconsoles will likely experience a boost in consumer and industry hype surrounding microconsoles after NVIDIA’s announcement, but we caution against buying into the hype of microconsoles displacing console or mobile gaming. The main reason for the dour outlook is largely due to the lack of available content and previous success of microconsoles. Additionally, we also think the hype created by NVIDIA will result in the re-surfacing of acquisition rumors surrounding other microconsole manufacturers, similar to what happened post-Fire TV launch. After the Fire TV launch OUYA was linked to acquisition rumors where it would be acquired by Google in the U.S. or possibly Tencent in China. Ultimately none of the rumors came to fruition.

Bottom line: With such a small catalog, the NVIDIA Shield microconsole will likely be a hard sell to consumers especially considering how the price point compares to other top microconsoles like Amazon’s Fire TV.

February 13, 2015 13:08 AThorwart

In Chinese folklore, the year 2015 is the year of the Goat. However, according to Microsoft’s most recent activity it might actually be the year of productivity.

  1. December 1st 2014 - Microsoft acquires Acompli, a mobile email solutions team.
  2. February 4th 2014 - Microsoft develops new touch-optimized Universal apps (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint).
  3. February 11th 2014 - Microsoft acquires Sunrise Atelier, a calendar app developer team.

What is Microsoft’s goal? Microsoft has been quite clear about its goal of making everyone become more productive, even going as far as to say that the Sunrise purchase was “another step forward on our journey to reinvent productivity and empower every person and organization to achieve more.”

Although part of me wondered what the end game was here? After mulling over the different angles I came up with two different thoughts. Scenario 1, Microsoft is driving its products on mobile because it ultimately wants consumers to buy its Microsoft Office 365 subscription package – which is positioned in the app as an in-app purchase and provides users with more features than the free version. Scenario 2 (admittedly less likely), Microsoft couldn’t get Sunrise to develop the app for Windows Phone so it made it an offer the calendar developers couldn’t refuse and purchased the company outright.

Who are the new additions to the MSFT team and what are they bringing to table?

A. Acompli – Acompli is a San Francisco based mobile e-mail app solutions team that in its own words “is closing the gap between the old paradigm of desktop email and the untapped potential of what mobile emai should be.” Acompli released its email app in April 2014 and in less than 9 months it was acquired by Microsoft and then integrated/re-branded as the official Microsoft Outlook app – which launched Jan 29th 2015. PC Mag and Re/code have the sale price rumored to be around $200 million or more, but gut feeling says that figure is a little high.

  What is Acompli bringing to the table? The short answer here is a one-stop shop app that combines a user’s email accounts, contact lists, files, and calendars. There is a laundry list of compatible services that can be integrated into the app, but some of the more recognizable ones include Dropbox, Yahoo Mail, Google Drive, and iCloud. However it is much more than a simple “compilation” app it also helps users organize incoming mail and requests by order of importance. For example, emails from frequent contacts or those marked with “high priority” tags are put into a separate inbox from any of the other received emails.

According to AppTRAX, the Acompli app was not listed as a top app for iPhone, iPad, or Google Play and there is no Acompli app developed for Amazon or Windows Phone. In 2015 the new Outlook app received some popularity on the iPad store. Keep in mind it only recently launched just two weeks ago so it could only be picked up by AppTRAX the last two weeks. Despite that, the app has 14 top 100 appearances spread across 12 different countries. Most notably it was the 29th (in week 5) and the 34th (in week 6) top grossing iPad app in India. All other appearances are on the top free app list with Germany being its top market where it ranked 7th (in week 6).  

However if there was some criticism of the app it was based on a lack of innovation in the calendar. So that naturally leads to how can Microsoft improve on its new purchase’s calendar? Perhaps make another purchase like…

B. Sunrise - The New York based calendar app developer is Microsoft’s most recent purchase. The app is compatible with Google Calendar, iCloud, and Exchange - many of the same services as Acompli which will presumably make the integration into the Outlook app seamless. TechCrunch has the sale price rumored to be around $100 million.

What is Sunrise’s value add to MSFT? The obvious answer to fill the Acompli’s innovation gap in the calendar portion of its app. And like the Acompli app, Sunrise calendar is also a one-stop shop app that combines a user’s calendar events from various apps like Facebook and LinkedIn. Ultimately, the app makes life easier by organizing events onto one calendar and it is even integrated with Google Maps to help the user locate/navigate to an event.

Microsoft points out that the Sunrise calendar app has already been downloaded by “millions of users.” Additionally, Kit Eaton – Personal Tech writer for the New York Times - called it the Best Calendar Apps for Setting your Agenda for the Days Ahead.

According to AppTRAX, the Sunrise calendar app has no top app appearances in 2015, but it did have a few appearances in 2014 for both the iPhone and iPad. There were no appearances for Google Play and the Sunrise calendar app was not developed for Amazon or Windows Phone. The app was most popular in Japan in the early part of 2014 where it was the 40th (in week 3) ranked free app and then 88th the following week.

According to Strategy Analytics’ consumer telemetry service – AppOptix – the usage level of the Sunrise calendar has been quite low compared to the overall usage of similar “Stock” apps. Less than 1% of AppOptix’s total panel (including both former and current members) had the Sunrise calendar app downloaded to their device. Below is a representation of the engagement rate for Sunrise app users in February 2015, so far, compared to the average engagement rate of the stock calendar apps and the average engagement of the stock clock apps. Clock apps were chosen for this comparison because engagement patterns in those type of apps are similar to that of calendar apps.

AppOptix: Sunrise v. Stock Apps – Month of February 2015


Daily Engagement (%)

Weekly Engagement (%)

Monthly Engagement (%)

Sunrise calendar




“stock” calendar apps




“stock” calculator apps




*Source: AppOptix is Strategy Analytics' Consumer Telemetry Platform which observes mobile behavior on smartphones and tablets using opt-in panels and a resident telemetry application. Engagement rate Is defined as the % of installed base that engages with the application on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

Microsoft’s recent acquisitions show its continued openness to bringing in new features and talent from the outside and a keen understanding of the need to constantly upgrade the user experience in a mobile first, cloud first world. 

August 22, 2014 10:01 AThorwart

LINE is one of the more well-known social networking apps around the world. The Japanese messaging service first launched in 2011 and has since expanded beyond being just a messaging service and into being a full entertainment platform. Gaming has proven to be a key growth factor for LINE which surpassed the 400 million user mark in April 2014. However, if it wants to continue to grow it will need to create buzz in other ways than gaming – Enter its recent promo opportunity with Ariana Grande.

How exactly does the promotion of Ariana Grande and her new album (My Everything) help LINE secure new users?

Grande has a significant following - 17.6 million Twitter followers and 21 million Facebook page likes - and by allowing LINE to have an exclusive early release of her new album it creates an opportunity for LINE to capture those fans who previously have not used the service.

Based on Grande’s position on some of the top music charts (Billboard chart, Spotify, etc.), this is a strategic move for LINE. Spotify’s top chart, in particular, proves that early access to Grande’s new album is a selling point to new users. Problem – Grande’s single from her new album – has been highly successfully on Spotify’s top charts in the US and Globally. The graphic below showcases how popular Problem has been on Spotify’s top 50 streaming list.

Exhibit 2: Spotify’s Weekly Ranking of ‘Problem’ – Globally and in the U.S.

Is the promotion of Ariana Grande’s new album going to help grow popularity?

Among iPhone users it started the second half of 2014 lagging behind in popularity. In fact, it didn’t rank in the top 100 of free apps until the week ending August 15. While LINE has not directly linked the Grande promo with last week’s jump in popularity among iPhone and Google Play users in the U.S., it certainly looks like the promo played a part in the recent success. The exhibit below showcases the instances where LINE reached the top 100 on a weekly basis during the second half of 2014 to this point. Major popularity increases on occurred on the iPhone and Google Play lists in the U.S. after the promo started.

AppTRAX Exhibit: LINE’s Top 100 Rankings – 2H 2014

*RED cells represents a top 10 rank, ORANGE ranks 11-25, YELLOW ranks 26-50, GREEN ranks 51-75, BLUE ranks 76-100, and blank cells represent weeks LINE went un-ranked in the top 100.

  • LINE’s 2H 2014 highlights, according to AppTRAX:
  • LINE has made at least one appearance inside the top 100 of apps across 4 different platforms
  • LINE has made at least one appearance inside the top 100 of apps in 9 different countries
  • LINE has been highly successful on Windows
    • Japan has been LINE’s top market – it peaked at 1 and never ranked worse than 11
    • Mexico has been LINE’s second best market – also never ranked worse than 11th


August 14, 2014 12:51 AThorwart

According to AppTRAX, Pandora is the third most grossing app in the U.S. during 2014 – Only Clash of Clans (via Supercell) and Candy Crush Saga (via Limited) rank higher on the top grossing iPhone list with an average of 1.26 and 1.77, respectively. The exhibit below displays the year-to-date top 5 iPhone grossing apps. Note - to achieve a top grossing spot, users must be purchasing virtual goods from the app - advertiser money does not play a factor. Therefore, Pandora’s position in the top grossing come from users opting to pay for the Pandora One subscription directly from the app. An ad-supported free version is still available in the app stores. 


App Name



Avg. Rank


Clash of Clans





Candy Crush Saga Limited









Hay Day





Pet Rescue Saga Limited



Along with being a top grossing iPhone app, Pandora has several other highlights in the U.S. market to be boast:

  • 1 of 3 apps with an average rank higher than 5.0 (AppTRAX is inverted to best represent the data, so 1 is the highest possible average rank).
    • Pandora’s average rank is 4.10
  • 1 of 2 non-gaming apps to appear in the top 10 based on average app rank on the grossing list
  • 1 of 3 app developers to post a top 10 ranking at any point during 2014
  • Posted a sub-10 ranking 32 of 33 weeks
    • Once ranked 19th
  • Ranked 19 spots better then the next best music app – Magic Piano
  • Ranked 24 spots better then the next best music streaming app – Rdio


Pandora’s placement on the top grossing list is important, especially in the U.S. because the U.S. music streaming market is a highly competitive market. Nitesh Patel, Director of the Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) service, recently assessed the 4G LTE battle in the US among top-tier US operators AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the insight.Pandora’s placement on the top grossing list is important, especially in the U.S. because the U.S. music streaming market is a highly competitive market. Nitesh Patel, Director of the Wireless Media Strategies (WMS) service, recently assessed the 4G LTE battle in the US among top-tier US operators AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile in the insight.


To see the completed graphic above visit the From a Trickle to a Deluge: Streaming Music Services Flood US Market as LTE Competition Intensifies insight.

May 14, 2014 13:39 AThorwart

India has been a hotbed of mobile app news lately, especially from Social networking and mobile messaging apps like Facebook (100 million users in India; 84% access via a mobile device) and WhatsApp (48 million mobile users). However, mobile commerce apps are also showing signs of growth. SnapDeal and Paytm are prime example of the growing attraction of mobile commerce apps in India.

SnapDeal, which launched in February 2010, first came along as an e-commerce site. However, its mobile platform has gained a lot of ground in the final months of 2013 through to the first half of 2014. In October, mobile orders accounted for 30% of sales and now it has surpassed 45% from the native application; an additional 5% comes from the mobile browser. There is an 80/20 split among Android and iOS users, in favor of Android.

SnapDeal is one India’s most popular iPhone apps, according to AppTRAX – Strategy Analytics’ own proprietary research technique. SnapDeal has been consistently ranked higher than 100 in each week of 2014 (through 5/9/14). The only exceptions were weeks 4, 10, and 11 when the app rank was 100, 127, and 104, respectively. Its highest ranking was during the week of May 9th 2014 when it ranked 33rd among free apps. Overall its average 2014 iPhone ranking in India is 74.6.

SnapDeal is available to iOS, Android, and Windows users.

Paytm launched its new service in February of 2014 with a little twist on mobile commerce. Paytm’s approach included a text style format that allows users to negotiate prices with merchants before purchasing. The mobile platform started with 250 merchants and has now grown to over 500 merchants. The mobile app itself has grown significantly since launch as it surpassed 1 million extra users on top of the 6 million it started with. The firm is targeting a year-end app user base of 15 million and merchant base of 5,000.

Paytm has also made several appearances on the iPhone top 300 AppTRAX ranking list in India during 2014. The new service was announced on February 6th and starting the week after, it first appeared on the ranking list at number 78. Following its first appearance in week 7, it ranked 136,116, 123, and 101 in consecutive weeks until it dropped out of the rankings in week 12.


Paytm is available to iOS and Android users - soon to be Windows in June.


May 12, 2014 12:56 AThorwart

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is an age-old adage, but the taxi industry’s adage went a little more like: “the world knows our system is broke and there isn’t anything a consumer can do about it, so we’re not changing.” That adage rang true for a long time until services like Uber and Lyft revolutionized a basic service feature: availability. I have heard a lot of different arguments against Uber and Lyft and it basically boils down to price and efficiency.

The argument against the price is legit because taxi companies pay (by all accounts) major regulator fees/taxes causing fare prices to increase. However, price level seems less important to a user since getting from point A to B trumps price. So the question becomes why are the taxi companies losing consumers? The answer is efficiency/ease of use. Rather than trying to get a cab on the street (especially in inclement weather), Uber users can simply send for a ride and can even pay with a PayPal account. Hailo is another service like Uber, but the main difference is that Hailo works with black cabs in London.

How popular is the Uber, Lyft, and Hailo apps? According to AppTRAX - Strategy Analytics’ proprietary research – Uber in the UK has an average iPhone ranking just outside of the top 200 for 2014; last week it ranked 183. Uber is much more popular in the US with an average iPhone 2014 ranking right around 100. Hailo and Lyft are not ranked in the top 300 UK iPhone rankings during any week of 2014.

Based on the popularity rise of the aforementioned Uber and Lyft, there have been several responses by the taxi industry across the globe challenging the fairness of such services. Below are a few of the recent responses by the taxi industry (other responses were found in Berlin, Brussels, and Paris).

First response: London’s 10,000-car protest.

It’s being reported, by Bloomberg, that London taxi drivers are planning to stage a 10,000 car demonstration near a historic landmark in London, the exact location is not yet known (and probably for good reason).

Take a step back and look at the first response on face value. The taxi industry “aka big brother” is angry that services like Uber and Lyft “aka little brother” are taking profits from them. However, instead of fixing its problem and becoming more efficient (by developing similar apps), the UK’s Licensed Taxi Driver Association responds by not only becoming less efficient during the protest, but also making businesses in the “protest zone” less efficient for as long as the protest continues. Lost in the protest is the irony - if no taxis are to be found then non-Uber users may opt to use the service during the protest thus driving up Uber and Lyft usage.

Second response: a Fujitsu and MIT study, leads to utilization of Uber-like app technology for cab hailing.

Engadget reported late last week that MIT and Fujitsu ran a study on how taxis are underutilized, yet are never there when needed. As a result of the study, on-demand technology was provided to cabs and users could pick from 3 modes: taxi, ride-sharing, and fixed route modes. Each of which can be “ordered” by the user who then receives boarding times and fare prices. A test run in Tokyo yielded in 80% more profits.

Unfortunately, Fujitsu’s goal for full operation is 2016 which seems too far off and by then traditional taxi companies might already become more of a (if not completely) forgotten commodity than it already is. The Licensed Taxi Driver Association in London should spend more energy following Fujitsu’s model and begin establishing a developing body to help taxi companies become more efficient.

The taxi industry isn’t the first industry disrupted by smartphone apps. Banking and operator messaging (among other) industries were also affected by the functionality of mobile apps. As mobile banking became more popular, developers began making the app features (mobile check deposit, ability to pay bills, etc.) so functional that the need to visit a branch on a routine errand is almost non-existent. Mobile banking app users can simply take a picture of and deposit a check on the spot. Operator messaging services were severely hurt by the development and popularity rise of mobile messaging apps, as detailed in the Operator Messaging to Decline 20% by 2017 report by Strategy Analytics’ Director of Wireless Media Strategies service Nitesh Patel.

Taxi services may be the first automotive industry to be affected by smartphones and app, but it certainly won’t be the last. It is only a matter of time before the phone and car become one and the user can simply check on a smartphone what needs replaced (tires, battery, brakes, etc.) and can search local auto body shops for the best prices. That type of technology will actually hurt large brands more than help because if a mechanic at a local mom and pop run business can do the work cheaper than places like Ford and GMC might lose those consumers. 

March 11, 2014 09:37 AThorwart

The partnership with Idea Cellular will grant over 130 million users access to Gameloft’s game portfolio.

Gameloft is coming off a full year in which it increased mobile gaming revenue each quarter – one of two companies highlighted by Strategy Analytics’ Mobile Gaming Index to accomplish this feat. However, the 2013 “storyline of the year” in mobile gaming was stolen by the incredible resurgence of Glu who credited its revenue boom to the entry into the APAC region including an announcement in Q4 that it will cross-publish titles in 2014 with COLOPL – a Japanese mobile gaming studio.

Which begs the question is the Gameloft+Idea Cellular partnership just simply a user grab or is India being targeted specifically?

The answer is yes on both accounts. First, an increase in user numbers is always desirable. Secondly, in order to continue success Gameloft will need to reinforce its position among established markets as well as enter new market. Although India’s population doesn’t possess the same “gaming motivated” reputation that other APAC markets (i.e. Korea and Japan) do, it does have a prior connection to Gameloft. India was first a focus for Gameloft in late 2009 when the mobile gaming giant targeted SE Asia and the regions, then, 898 million mobile phone users. In fact, in November of 2009 these two companies (Gameloft and Idea) entered an agreement that provided the gateway for Gameloft to showcase its gaming portfolio in India.

Fast forwarding to 1H 2013, Gameloft began re-establishing its dominance in India as it dedicated approximately $1.5 million “to the restructuring of Gameloft’s development studios in India and the Philippines.” Clearly the renewed partnership with Idea is the second step for Gameloft. Per this partnership, Idea becomes the first Indian telecom to provide users access to the Gameloft Game Store including access to new content made available via a Gameloft Club subscription. The Gameloft Club is an important feature in areas with low credit card usage/penetration because the $6.99/month subscription fee is applied to a user’s phone bill. As a part of the subscription, users are given 2 credits a month to download any paid game (each game download = 1 credit). Considering most (if not all) Gameloft paid games are listed at $5.99, The Gameloft Club subscription model makes sense as long as users continues to want paid games which is becoming less and less likely – in 2013 paid games only accounted for 20% of revenue for Gameloft.

Despite the fact that the Gameloft+Idea and Glu+COLOPL are different partnerships in structure, it is very evident that both Gameloft and Glu are using the correct approach to the market. Simply entering the competitive APAC market on their own accord would likely prove to be a fruitless activity. Even with assistance from local players it will be tough to grab any real share from local favorites like Gamevil.

February 27, 2014 14:26 AThorwart

The EA founder secured $6.5 million in funds for If You Can

The educational app company If You Can recently launched its free educational app. According to CNNMoney (visit this link for more game details) Hawkins was able to raise $3 million as an initial investment from various seed and angel investors. Fast forward to today and the If You Can Company landed an additional $6.5 million to bring the total investment to just under $10 million. This round of investments was led by Greylock partners. This is Greylock’s foray into tablet gaming, it previously back web gaming companies Kongregate, Social Games Network, and WildTangent.

IF … is designed specifically to guide kids in developing SEL – social and emotional learning – skills. The developers utilized the RPG genre to put users in situations that help prepare them to make real-life relevant decisions. Ultimately the game strides toward teaching the users self-awareness, self- management, social awareness, relationship skills, and decision making.

Education apps have potential to be big money makers in 2014, but they have to be able to generate revenue and there is a fine line when it comes to making money from kids.

If IF … is going to be a revenue generating vehicle it needs to include in-app purchases otherwise the free model is not a lucrative route as it hinges on money via advertisers. Currently there are only 3 education apps on the top 200 grossing list for iPad only one is a paid app with no IAPs. Proloquo2Go has a listed price of $219.99 while Reading Rainbow and Fit Brains Trainer are both freemium. Freemium titles are free to play, but charge for IAPs (i.e. stickers, emojis, subsciptions) and have recently come under some scrutiny - Apple paying back $32.5 million.

IF … is currently only available for iPad users.

November 18, 2013 07:34 AThorwart

Zepp’s 3D motion sensor wants to capture your data and help you train

Health & fitness and sports go hand in hand with each other. They are also linked together in the wearable device ecosystem with the newest devices, only this instance the device attaches to sporting equipment and not the user.

Vendors such as Zepp and SensoGlove are putting sports analysis technology into the hands of the consumer or amateur sportsperson, with the ultimate aim of improving the ability of the consumer at their chosen sport.

Zepp has designed a 1”, virtually weightless, wearable device that attaches to the end of a bat (or club or tennis racket). Zepp Sport’s Platform is home to the three mobile apps that go with each sport – Zepp Baseball, Zepp Tennis, and Zepp Golf. (Zepp also offers the Golf Sense app which is similar to the Zepp Golf app) These apps capture and analyze the swing while the consumer plays the sport and transmits the data via Bluetooth connectivity to an iOS or Android device. The apps capture a number of metrics including bat speed, swing plane, hitting zone, and impact angle.

The SensoGlove is a glove worn by the golfer that measures grip pressure, with the results being displayed on an LCD attached to the glove. The measurements allow the golfer to see their grip pressure at different parts of the swing, and strive for more even pressure and therefore more consistent swing.

Such analysis tools were once the domain of professional sports and sports science. However they represent a new dimension to wearable devices, which have for some time been a happy home for fitness tracking and monitoring devices such as Nike’s FuelBand and Fuelband SE

Strategy Analytics believes this is a new string to the bow of wearable devices in that they are not just recording and monitoring, or alerting the user to specific events on the companion smartphone; they are helping the user to improve at a given discipline.

Zepp’s baseball, golf, and tennis devices are each priced at $149, and the SensoGlove starts at $89. However with golf clubs easily reaching into the $ thousands, and hundreds of hours devoted to sports, that surely is a price many would happily pay.

Such devices are part of the Fitness Monitoring and Tracking category, which is one of four key categories making up the Wearable Devices market, as tracked by Strategy Analytics Wearable Device Ecosystems service and the apps are being tracked by AEO – Application Ecosystem Opportunities.

The wearable device market is still in the early stages and as the market begins to mature it is inevitable that more and more twists on fitness and sports devices are going begin to crop up. Perhaps the next stage in monitoring progress will be device inside a ball, like a football to measure spin rotation after a throw or a soccer ball that measures curve and power of a shot.