Wearable shipments surged 94.6% in Q3 of this year to a record 84.5 million units according to a new report from the International Data Corporation. Apple led the rankings thanks to strong sales of the refreshed Apple Watch and AirPods, as well as the new Beats lineup. It was followed by Xiaomi.
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Hearables were the fastest growing wearables category in the third quarter the report says, increasing an incredible 242% year-on-year. These are defined as wearables that hand or plug into the ear. In addition to emitting sound, they also must track fitness, modify audio (not just noise reduction), provide language translation or facilitate smart assistants.
The category alone accounted for almost half of the market in 3Q19. This was followed by activity trackers and smartwatches.
Apple led the rankings, once again, thanks to healthy sales of the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones. The Cupertino outfit saw shipments of 29.5 million in Q3, up nearly three times on the same period last year. Its share of the market increased from 23% to 35% during this period. Sales of the new Series 5 watch and discounts on Series 3 models are expected to keep Apple in the lead.
Xiaomi branded wearables were in second place. This was mostly due to the Mi Band lineup which saw shipments of more than 10 million units during the quarter. And let’s not forget company’s AirDots which are a big seller in China. The company should continue to make inroads into international markets as more of its products are made available globally. Xiaomi has also launched the Mi Watch in early November which should help things going forward.
Samsung captured the third spot with its smartwatches and self-branded and JBL hearables. IDC says the strategy of bundling wearables with Samsung smartphones is paying off as many carriers are promoting the lineup.
Rounding out the top 5 wearable manufacturers are Huawei and Fitbit. The first saw strong growth due to growing popularity in China. Its 202% year-on-year increase is particularly impressive when you take into account the political challenges.
Fitbit only saw a 0.5% increase during the year. The company has seen disappointing sales of Versa Lite as customers were more willing to pay for the full package. Versa 2 is unlikely to change this very much as its just an iterative upgrade. There is also uncertainty on the effects of Google’s acquisition next year.
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