dglobalnews.com Million Wearables Ship, As Apple, Google Shift Focus
Published: Mon, March 06, 2017
Tech | By Arthur Brown

Million Wearables Ship, As Apple, Google Shift Focus

The company has shipped over 22.5 million units in 2016 of which, 6.5 million fitness trackers in the fourth quarter. Adding to that, the company is making its efforts to retain its loyal investors by talking about their plans, for instance, how it plans to use Pebble which it acquired in 2016 in a bid to achieve its market ventures in the wearable industry.

In terms of vendors, Fitbit maintained its dominance, with 6.5 million quarterly sales and 19.2 percent of the market, albeit down from 29.0 percent in Q4 2015.

Apple shipped an estimated 4.6 million Apple Watch units in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from an estimated 4.1 million in the year-ago quarter, according to IDC. The company holds a market share of 13.6 per cent and has gained a y-o-y growth of 13 per cent.

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One interesting insight from the IDC study is that much of the growth of wearables is coming from vendor push rather than consumer demand. 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.

Shipments for the entire year grew 25 percent as new vendors entered the market and previous champions refreshed their product lineups with Xiaomi and Apple taking second and third spots respectively, the report from the market research firm IDC said. "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". In other countries, Fitbit is challenged by lower cost competitors overseas.

Garmin experienced a slight decline of 4.0% in 4Q16. The Chinese electronics major shipped 5.2 million units and took 15.2 percent market share. The new Fenix 5 announced at CES 2017 also shows promise as the new smaller size will help the device appeal to a broader audience. Samsung, in fifth place, increased shipments to 1.9 million from 1.4 million thanks in part to the launch of two new models (Gear S3 Classic and Frontier).

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