Wearable gadget maker Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) attracted far more bets against its recently rising stock in September, underscoring concerns about competition from the likes of Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

Since Sept. 10, borrowing in Fitbit shares has jumped 50 percent, according to lending data from SunGard’s Astec Analytics, which provides a strong glimpse into short-selling activity.

Short-sellers borrow shares and sell them, hoping to buy them back later for less to return to the lender.

While short-selling in Fitbit declined from 7.4 percent of outstanding shares at the end of August to 6.9 percent in mid-September, that rate is still much higher than the average short interest of 2.7 percent for tech companies, according to Thomson Reuters data.

San Francisco-based Fitbit makes wrist bands and clippable devices that monitor fitness activity by tracking calories burned or distance covered, among other metrics.

Fitbit’s stock market listing in June won a rousing response from investors. The shares rose to a high of $51.90 on Aug. 5 from their $20 IPO price.

Auguring well for the nascent consumer electronics niche, global shipments of wearable devices more than tripled to 18.1 million units in the second quarter, according to market research firm IDC. [ID:nL4N1124O8]

But some on Wall Street have grown concerned about competition from other wearable devices with health-related features and apps, including the Apple Watch, which was introduced in June. Activity tracking is also available on some smartphones without the need to wear an additional device.

In Fitbit’s debut quarterly report in August, the company warned that increased spending to develop new gadgets meant a dip in gross margins that would not improve for the rest of the year, disappointing Wall Street and sending its stock sharply lower. [ID:nL3N10G5OM]

The shares have recovered 14 percent in the past month but remain 27 percent below their record high. On Thursday, the stock was up 0.3 percent at $37.81.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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