Mark Neuling | CNBC
Tuesday's earnings call praised Apple CEO Tim Cook for sticking to portable clothing "when others might not."
A day later, Fitbit CEO James Park struck a very different tone, telling investors in a press release that "we are disappointed to lower guidance for the year."
Apple shares climbed 2.6% on Wednesday, ending with their highest mark this year. Fitbit shares closed at record lows on Wednesday and then plunged more than 1
There is a story about two companies that was told within 24 hours. Apple is the icon of the consumer electronics business, after parlaying its dominance in smartphones to a market-leading position within watches by keeping people in its ecosystem. Fitbit is the challenger who innovated in fitness tracking and built a solid business before being steamrolled by the industry's superpower as it moved into more advanced smartwatches.
Apple's portable business, which includes AirPods, Apple Watch and Beats headphones, achieved 48% growth in the quarter from a year earlier to $ 5.53 billion and CFO Luca Maestri said the category's growth accelerated over 50%.
Fitbit's sales increased only 4.8% in the quarter to $ 313.6 million.
By the end of 2018, Apple controlled 50% of the global smartwatch market in terms of devices shipped, according to Strategy Analytics. Fitbit came in second at 12.2%, followed by Samsung, which sells Android-powered devices, at 11.8%.
In its attempt to remain competitive, Fitbit has cut its prices, resulting in a shrinking gross margin, or surplus again, after deducting the cost of goods sold, to 34.5% from 39.8% .
Fitbit cited weaker-than-expected sales of the Versa Lite unit, a lightweight smart watch it introduced earlier this year, for its disappointing numbers, lowering the midpoint of its 2019 revenue guidance to $ 1.46 billion from $ 1.56 billion.
After his post-work, Fitbit is now worth under $ 1 billion. It has lost 82% of its value since the IPO in 2015.
Park is trying to reduce the company's reliance on device sales and focus more on premium services, which will create a "long-lasting relationship with users while changing the perception of products and services from a nice to have to have, "said the CEO in Wednesday's interview.
But Apple does, too, with a much broader range of services that work across many different types of devices. Revenues in Apple's service business, which includes App Stores, Apple Care, Apple Pay, iCloud and Apple Music, rose 13% to $ 11.46 billion in the quarter.
SE: Fitbit CEO James Park talks about innovation at an affordable price