New research shows Nike is running a distant third place in the health wearables market and losing ground, which might help explain why the sports apparel giant is downsizing the division.

The Portland, Ore., company held just seven percent of the market during the last 12 months, compared to Fitbit’s dominant 67 percent stake and Jawbone’s runner-up 18 percent share, according to data from NPD Group.

NPD put Nike’s hold at 10 percent at the outset of the year.

Ben Arnold, industry analyst for the market research firm, cautioned against reading too much into the numbers, noting that they only include data from major retail outlets and online stores.

NPD doesn’t have insight into direct sales on each of the companies’ own websites, which could represent big portions of overall sales. That means it’s possible any company could be over or underrepresented in the figures.

Still, if more than nine Fitbits were moving off retail shelves for every one Nike FuelBand, it seems fair to assume the company was trailing overall.

But there was some good news for the wearables sector in general.

NPD saw 3.3 million units move through the channels it tracks from April 2013 to March 2014, adding up to $293 million in sales. That’s more than four times larger than the $48 million it recorded for the year-ago period.

“It’s growing faster than we predicted,” Arnold said.

The chart below shows how the major “Full Body Activity Trackers” stacked up in NPD’s research:

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Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service




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