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Shipments of wearable devices stalls in first quarter compared to Q1 2017

Paul Lipscombe
June 5, 2018

Apple leads the market share for wearables in the first quarter with four million shipments

Worldwide shipments of wearable devices grew 1.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, as numbers reached 25.1 million units according to data from IDC.

Despite growth in Q1, the figure was much lower than the 18 per cent year-on-year growth last year, mainly due to a 9.2 per cent decline in shipments of basic wearables.

A changing preference from consumers has seen a shift in buying smarter devices such as Apple, Fitbit and a number of fashions brands as this area grew by 28 per cent in the same period.

IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said: “With the move towards smarter devices, we’re also starting to see hints of where the wearables market is headed.”

“Additional sensors, years of underlying data, and improved algorithms are allowing pillars of the industry like Fitbit and Apple to help identify diseases and other health irregularities.”

IDC wearables team Ramon T. Llamas said: “Beyond the market leaders is a long list of other vendors forging their own path in the wearables market.”

Leading wearable companies in 2018 Q1

Apple Watch shipments grew 13.5 per cent year-on-year as market share also increased to 16.1 per cent, up from 14.3 per cent in Q1 2017. Apple shipped four million wearables in the first quarter.

Xiaomi held second spot with 14.8 per cent of unit shipments, but only has 1.8 per cent dollar value of the market due to lowest average selling price and made 3.7 million shipments in the first quarter.

Fitbit is third overall in the market, however has declined 28 per cent year-on-year with only 8.7 per cent of the market share, compared to 12.2 per cent in the same quarter last year. The American company shipped 2.2 million units in Q1.

Huawei is fourth with 5.2 per cent of market share which is an increase of 147 per cent year-on-year and this has been down to a wide portfolio of smart watches, kids’ watches and fitness trackers. Using the Honor brand to target a younger audience, most of the company’s activity is still limited to the Asian market, shipping 1.3 million units overall in the first quarter.

Garmin completes the top five with five per cent market share, which is up from 4.6 per cent from Q1 2017. Garmin shipped a total of 1.3 million units in the first quarter.

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