Wednesday, 24 May, 2017

Fitbit's Dominance Diminishes But Wearable Tech Market Bigger Than Ever

Apple gained ground in the wearables market in the fourth quarter thanks to its Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 smartwatches Apple gained ground in the wearables market in the fourth quarter thanks to its Apple Watch Series 1 and Series 2 smartwatches
Lucas Bell | 05 March, 2017, 00:32

With 2016 seeing a staggering 102.4 million wearable devices being shipped, it is no longer a tall tale but a proven conclusion.

Fitbit also retained its lead in terms of market share.

It seems that Fitbit is struggling to retain its position as a top-notch wearable manufacturer is the wearable industry, and speculations suggest that the company will soon lose its title to Apple or Xiaomi.

Looking at 2015 versus last year, IDC highlights Apple's sales for 2016 were down slightly from 11.6 million units to 10.7 million, while Xiaomi grew from 12 million units in 2015 to 15.7 million last year and Fitbit posted a small gain, up approximately half a million units.

"Outside of watches, Samsung's portfolio also includes the Gear Fit 2 and the Icon X, though without any smartphone bundles, volumes for these wearables were lower than expected", IDC commented. Apple doesn't release official sales figures, which means IDC's estimate is among the most reliable indicators. Basic wearables started out as single-purpose devices tracking footsteps and are morphing into multi-purpose wearable devices, fusing together multiple health and fitness capabilities and smartphone notifications. Its 2016 share, however, declined by some 5% to 22% as Xiaomi and other low-priced vendors closed in. Then superior smartphones came in, but now it is the next step - the era of smart wearables. The company has shipped over 22.5 million units in 2016 of which, 6.5 million fitness trackers in the fourth quarter.

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Apple does not officially disclose Apple Watch sales, instead grouping the device under its "Other Products" category in earnings results.

IDC noted that the company remains focused on the United States that is heavily saturated with fitness trackers.

The wearable market is alive and well, despite some negative press and a number of journalists questioning their utility and necessity.

"This presents an opportunity to sell multiple wearables to a single consumer under the guise of 'fashion.' But more importantly, it helps build an ecosystem and helps vendors provide consumers with actionable insights thanks to the large amounts of data collected behind the scenes".

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