FitBit Dominates Wearable Market, Share Slipping
The wearable market is finally delivering growth for retailers, with FitBit the brand that is delivering consumers through the door with 25% growth though this is down on the prior quarter.
New IDC research reveals that in the first quarter of 2016 the market for basic wearables rose 67%.
Under pressure Fitbit is being challenged by Apple who has moved to discounting their wearable offering in an effort to bolster their numbers.
In the Basic wearable market several brands are vying for a share of the market.
IDC defines basic wearables as devices that don’t run third-party applications as smart watches do.
Basic products “have a focused approach and often offer specialized use cases,” explained senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani. Smart watches, on the other hand, “attempt to offer holistic experiences by being everything to everyone.”
Despite wearables growth, “several start-ups announced head-count reductions or shut down entirely, underscoring how competitive the wearables market has become,” said research manager Ramon Llamas. “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.”
For the quarter, IDC found basic wearable shipments rising 65.1 percent to 16.4 million units while smart watch shipments rose 100.2 percent to 3.2 million. Smart watches accounted for 16.3 percent of wearables shipments.
Ranking: Among all wearables, the market-share leader was Fitbit, whose sales rose 25.4 percent from the year-ago quarter to 4.8 million units, but its market share slipped to 24.5 percent from 32.6 percent, IDC found.
“The launch of its new Alta and Blaze devices resulted in million-unit shipment volumes for each, pointing to a new chapter of fashion-oriented fitness trackers. It also points to significant declines for its previously successful Surge, Charge, Charge HR and Flex product lines. Still, with a well-segmented portfolio, pricing strategy and a strong brand, Fitbit’s position is well-established.”
Chinese vendor Xiaomi took second-place while Apple came in third with 1.5 million units for a 7.5 percent share, followed by Garmin and Samsung. Both saw their shares drop slightly despite rising volumes.
In the basic segment, Fitbit was also on top, followed by Xiaomi, Garmin, XTC and Lifesense.
In smart watches, Apple was on top with 1.5 million shipments for a 46 percent share, with Samsung placing second but losing share.
The company’s shipments rose 40.5 percent to 700,000, but Samsung’s share fell to 20.9 percent to from the year-ago 29.8 percent.
Motorola placed third, with its share remaining almost flat at 10.9 percent despite 98.2 percent shipment growth to 400,000 units.
Huawei and Garmin placed fourth and fifth, respectively.