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Fitbit still dominates growing wearables market

17 May 2016

The International Data Corporation (IDC) has released figures from its Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker showing a 67.2% increase in wearables shipment rates: a total of 19.7 million in the first quarter of 2016, up from 11.8 million units in the first quarter of 2015.

According to IDC, the figures indicate that the wearables trend has kept rising, despite seasonal production numbers dropping. 

The wearables market has focused heavily on new features, partnerships with sports gear providers and sales, all which have helped boost the market.

As the wearables market slowly starts to reach maturity and capacity, ir has become crowded, meaning the production of a successful product may be harder to achieve, Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC Wearables, says.

"The wearables that we see today are several steps ahead of what we saw when this market began, increasingly taking their cues from form, function, and fashion. That keeps them relevant. The downside is that it is becoming a crowded market, and not everyone is guaranteed success."

In terms of the wearables market, it’s important to understand the differentiation between smart watches and other wearables devices such as fitness bands, hearables or wearables-capable sports clothing with a variety of functions, IDC says.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers, says, "it's shortsighted to think that basic wearables and smart watches are in competition with each other.

Right now, we see both as essential to expand the overall market. The unique feature sets combined with substantial differences in price and performance sets each category apart, and leaves plenty of room for both to grow over the next few years."

Top wearables vendors

  1. Fitbit -  increased to 4.8 million shipments in 1Q16, from 3.8 billion in 1Q15
  2. Xiaomi – increased to 3.7 billion in 1Q16, from 2.6 billion in 1Q15
  3. Apple – total of 1.5 million shipments in 1Q16
  4. Garmin – increased to 0.9 million shipments in 1Q16, from 0.7 in 1Q15
  5. Samsung – 0.9 million shipments, no increase from 1Q15
  6. BBK – total of 0.7 million shipments in 1Q16
  7. All others – increased to 7.3 million shipments in 1Q16, from 3.9 million shipments in 1Q15

Top smart watch vendors

  1. Apple – total of 1.5 million shipments in 1Q16
  2. Samsung – increased to 0.7 million shipments, from 0.5 million in 1Q15
  3. Motorola – increased to 0.4 million shipments, from 0.2 million in 1Q15
  4. Huawei – total of 0.2 million shipments in 1Q16
  5. Garmin – 0.1 million shipments in 1Q16, no change from 1Q15
  6. Others – increased to 3.2 million shipments in 1Q16, from 1.6 million in 1Q15

More market data including market share and year-over-year growth is available from IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker

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