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Apple Unveils watchOS 5, Looks to Expand in Healthcare

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Apple (AAPL - Free Report) is expanding its healthcare initiatives. The company unveiled its new operating system for Apple Watch, which primarily aims at providing an improved health activity platform.

The iPhone maker, with the addition of Apple Watch, is helping “customers stay connected, enhance their fitness and, in many cases, detect life-threatening conditions.”

Notably, Apple Watch, built on the foundation of HealthKit and Health, enables users to track their health metrics as well as share that data with their physicians.

We believe, with the latest update, Apple will be able to maintain its competitive position against other players in the fitness-wearable market like Fitbit (FIT - Free Report) , Xiaomi and Garmin (GRMN - Free Report) .

All About watchOS 5

The watchOS 5, unveiled at Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDC), features new health and wellness support, such as workout type for yoga and hiking along with the ability to challenge friends for a seven-day competition.

Moreover, the newly introduced automatic workout detection feature and the Walkie-Talkie app for Apple Watch users are expected to make it more attractive.

Further, the addition of new Siri shortcuts as well as other third party applications to the Siri watch face will make the device more interesting to users. Additionally, web contents can also be viewed through the WebKit support.

The company is also making the device more user-friendly by doing away with the need to say “Hey Siri”. Just raising the wrist will automatically activate the digital assistant.

Reportedly, the watchOS 5 for Apple Watch’s Series 1, Series 2 and Series 3 will be launched later this year.

Apple Leads the Market

Growing awareness for health and fitness is driving demand for wireless health-monitoring devices. Apple is trying to cash in on this trend by focusing on its smartwatches.

Per a recent report by IDC, Apple held 16.1% of Wearables market share in the first quarter of 2018, up from 14.3% in the corresponding year-ago period. Apple was followed by Xiaomi, which had 14.8% share. Fitbit held the third spot with 8.7% share, while shares of Garmin and Huawei were even lower.

Per IDC’s estimates, the overall wearables market is expected to witness CAGR of 18.4% to reach 222.3 million in 2021 from 113.2 million shipments in 2017. The firm expects Apple Watch to lead the smartwatch category, which is expected to witness CAGR of 22.7% from 2017-2021.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Apple currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A better-ranked stock in the broader technology sector is Twitter (TWTR - Free Report) , sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Long-term earnings growth for Twitter is projected to be 23.1%.

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