Friday, 23 March, 2018

Wearables Grow 10% Globally, Apple Overtakes Fitbit In 2017

Apple takes the top spot in the global wearables market IDC: Wearables grew 7.7% in Q4 2017, Apple passes Xiaomi and Fitbit for first place
Melissa Porter | 05 March, 2018, 19:02

As revealed in IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, total volumes for the fourth quarter of 2017 reached 37.9 million units, a 7.7 percent increase from the same quarter the year prior. For the full year, volume growth slowed to 10.3 percent from 27.3 percent the year before, but volumes still reached record highs, to 115.4 units from 104.6 million year-on-year. That's a result of numerous vendors exiting the market altogether, Llamas wrote, noting that new vendors and new models are already moving to replace them. Other vendors picked up the slack, coming out with new devices, features and services.

It is predicted that the next generation of wearables will make the current ones look quaint.

"Although prices for individual products has slowly declined, consumer preferences have shifted to more sophisticated devices and towards well recognized brands".

In the fourth quarter, Apple shipped eight million wearables with a 21% market share and 57.5% year-over-year growth, the IDC report said.

Apple, meanwhile, suddenly finds itself atop the wearables market.

While official sales figures for the Apple Watch are not disclosed, IDC estimated Apple sold some eight million in the final three months of past year, representing 21 per cent of all wearables.

Fitbit was the second largest smartwatch manufacturer, with IDC pointing to the launch of its Ionic smartwatch and continued application development for its Fitbit OS platform as reasons for its success. It also took steps to deepen its reach in healthcare, including partnerships with Dexcom and United Healthcare and participation in the FDA's precertification programme and the National Institutes of Health's Precision Medicine Research Program. Xiaomi may be up there with the big boys, but IDC says its focus is still China, as only 15% of its products head beyond China's borders. The company relies heavily on its fitness tracker product line with its vivo-branded products helping to push its basic wearables selection back above the million units mark for the quarter.

Of the top five vendors, Huawei saw the most growth as its recent third generation wrist bands continued to gain popularity in China helped the company become the number two wearables vendor within the country. The company owned 18.5 percent of the market in Q4 2016, putting it at the top of the wearables market, but claimed just 14.2 percent in Q4 2017. This means over 40 percent of wearable shipments continue to come from smaller players, though the number is falling as larger brands - particularly Apple - continue to grow.