Fitbit is the undisputed leader in global wearables sales according to IDC’s latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. The San Francisco based company accounted for around a quarter of global shipments in Q1 2016, slightly down on the same period in 2015, but well ahead of the pack.
Fitbit revealed recently that its new Alta and Blaze devices sold over 1 million units each, pointing to a new chapter of fashion-oriented fitness trackers. This would also suggest that the wearables giant has seen a decline in its previously successful Surge, Charge and Flex product lines.
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IDC further revealed that global wearables shipment volumes reached a record 19.7 million units in Q1 2016, two-thirds up from the 11.8 million units shipped in Q1 2015. A combination of factors including new product releases, price reductions, and company mergers contributed to the strong growth.
“The good news is that the wearables market continues to mature and expand,” said Ramon Llamas, IDC’s research manager.
“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.”
Xiaomi, sometimes referred to as the “Apple of the East”, captured the number two position. The Chinese manufacturer posted the strongest year on year growth (41%), to capture a 19% share of global wearables shipments. The company recently expanded its line of budget devices to include heart rate monitoring and also recently launched the Mi Bunny, a new GPS watch for kids. The release of Xiaomi’s new and improved Mi Band 2 has been confirmed for early June.
Apple and Garmin followed in third and fourth place. It is unlikely that Apple will climb further up the rankings, at least not until the release of the next version of its watch later this year. Garmin, on the other hand, has been very busy in terms of product releases. It added six new wearables to its running, golf, smartwatch and fitness tracking lines during the past five months. Despite this, the Swiss wearables manufacturer saw a slight decline in its global market share.
IDC is optimistic on growth prospects for both activity trackers and smart watches. The unique feature-sets of the two categories, combined with substantial differences in price, leaves plenty of room for both to grow over the next few years.
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