Market for wearables up 67%

The global market for wearables increased by a whopping 67.2 percent to a total of 19.7 million units shipped in the first quarter, up from 11.8 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2015, according to IDC.

“The good news is that the wearables market continues to mature and expand,” Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team, said in a press release. “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.”

The increase is due in part to the introduction of several new fitness trackers and smart watches, price reductions for items such as the Apple Sport Watch, and the introduction of new items such as connected clothing and footwear. But at the same time, the IDC report points out, many startups have already gone out of business or been forced to reduce staff size.

The undisputed leader in wearables is Fitbit. “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,” the report states. “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.”

Rounding out the top five wearable manufacturers are Xiaomi, Apple and Garmin, followed by Samsung and BBK, which tied for fifth place.


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