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Published: Sun, March 05, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Apple Watch roars back with its best sales quarter yet


Some have called it a fad, while others have claimed it's already dead.

Apple had great success, IDC commented, with both its Watch Series 1 and 2, experiencing its best quarter in the wearables market. Shipments for the full year totaled 102.4 million units, up 25% from 2015. The figures indicate that Xiaomi is posing a serious threat to Apple to position itself as a second largest wearable manufacturer, with a market share of nearly 15.2% compared with 9.1% during FY15. More worryingly, Fitbit's share dropped 10% in the fourth quarter to just 19.2%.

"It's enough to blur the lines against most smart wearables, to the point where first generation smartwatches are no better than most fitness trackers".

The data in the tables below, from IDC, shows us that the wearables market isn't actually plateauing or shrinking, it's just shifting.

"Meanwhile, smart wearables are also evolving".

"With the entrance of multiple new vendors with strengths in different industries, the wearables market is expected to maintain a positive outlook, though much of this growth is coming from vendor push rather than consumer demand", sais IDC senior research manager Jitesh Ubrani.

Meanwhile, Xiaomi has registered a steep rise in the market share, as it now captures 15.2 per cent of market share as opposed to 9.1 per cent of past year in the same quarter. The company has shipped over 22.5 million units in 2016 of which, 6.5 million fitness trackers in the fourth quarter.

"As the technology disappears into the background, hybrid watches and other fashion accessories with fitness tracking are starting to gain traction". And that represents a lot of wearables. The lower entry price point and the inclusion of Global Positioning System on the Series 2 along with a completely revamped user interface have helped the company grow its presence. The front-runner in the wearable race is Fitbit, an American tech firm, well lauded for their range of activity trackers and fitness devices. As a result, the company could occupy the fifth slot in the wearable segment. LTE connectivity has been a key differentiator for Samsung's watches as it has helped decouple them from smartphones, but more importantly it has opened up a new channel (telcos) to help promote the Samsung watches.

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