Apple dominated global wearables market in Q2 2018

San Francisco: Apple dominated the global wearables market in the second quarter of 2018 with a total share of 17 per cent as the market ticked up 5.5 per cent, an International Data Corp (IDC) report said on Wednesday.

Cupertino-based Apple maintained its top position in the wake of continued demand for its LTE-enabled Watch and shipped 4.7 million units, followed by Chinese player Xiaomi that shipped 4.2 million devices and grabbed a market share of 15.1 per cent.

According to IDC’s “Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker” report, the overall shipment volume reached 27.9 million units and the market experienced similar gains in dollar value, growing 8.3 per cent year-over-year (Y-o-Y) to $4.8 billion in the second quarter.

This was fuelled by the continued popularity of smartwatches with their high price tags.

“Two key forces were at work during the quarter: stronger demand for smart wearables, and slower declines in the basic wearables market,” Ramon T. Llamas, Research Director, IDC’s Wearables Team, said in a statement.

“Users wanted more from their wearable devices and smart watches have met that demand. Additionally, relative newcomers to the smartwatch market like Fitbit and several Chinese vendors have seen steady growth,” Llamas added.

US-based wearables major Fitbit’s decline continued as the company largely relied on sales of basic wristbands in the past and was not able to maintain pace during the second quarter.

The company grabbed the third spot with 2.7 million shipemts, followed by Huawei and Garmin with 1.8 and 1.5 million wearable shipments respectively.

According to the market research firm, Huawei, like Xiaomi, has been heavily focused on the Chinese market though this is slowly changing as it starts to experience growth outside its home turf.

The dual brand strategy has also been paying off as Honor accounts for a little over half of all the wearables shipped by Huawei.

“There still exists multiple market segments who prefer simple and inexpensive wearable devices and this is where wrist-worn fitness trackers and hybrid watches are finding demand,” Llamas said.

From a regional perspective, mature markets such as North America, Japan and Western Europe declined 6.3 per cent Y-o-Y as these markets were largely comprised of basic wristbands in 2017, which have declined substantially since then and the growth in smartwatches has not been enough to offset the decline.

Meanwhile, emerging markets, inclusive of Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa and Latin America, grew 14 per cent Y-o-Y as basic wristbands are still in high demand and smartwatches also gained traction.