Apple owns 35 percent of wearables market

Posted on Tuesday, Dec 10 2019 @ 11:41 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
A new report from IDC reveals Apple is becoming the dominant force in the wearables market. Initially, there were a lot of doubts about the company's AirPods but together with the Watch and the Beats headphones these items are selling pretty well. The company sold 29.5 million units in Q3 2019, it nearly tripled its sales versus Q3 2018. This far outpaces the overall market, which grew at an equally stunning 94.6 percent.

Xiaomi is the second-largest player with 14.6 percent of the market, followed by Samsung at 9.8 percent, Huawei at 8.4 percent and Fitbit at 4.1 percent.

The most popular product category is earwear, with 48.1 percent of the market, followed by wristbands at 22.7 percent and smartwatches at 20.9 percent. The fastest growing segment is earwear, sales of these products soared 242.4 percent year-over-year. Wristband and smartwatch sales were up 48.6 percent and 48.0 percent, respectively.
Global shipments of wearable devices totaled 84.5 million units in the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19), a year-over-year increase of 94.6% and a new record for shipments in a single quarter, according to new data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. Most of the growth in demand for wearables was driven by new products in the hearables market. Hearables alone accounted for almost half the market in 3Q19, followed by wrist bands and smartwatches.

"Hearables have become the new go-to product for the wearables market," pointed out Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables Team. "This began with multiple vendors removing the headphone jack from their smartphones, driving the move toward wireless headphones. It continued with hearables incorporating additional features that either augment or expand the audio experience. Next, hearables have taken on multiple form factors – ranging from truly wireless to over-the-ear headphones – appealing to a broad base of earwear user preferences. Finally, prices have come down significantly, with some reaching below $20."

"The rise of smart assistants in the home and on the phone has led to an increased demand for wearables that have the ability to connect with these assistants," said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "With multiple form factors and the inclusion of smart assistants, the wearables market is well on its way to becoming a mass market device category rather than one that primarily caters to health and fitness."

Wearables Company Highlights
Apple captured the top position thanks to the growing popularity of the Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats headphones. Looking ahead, the price reduction on the Series 3 Watch as well as the launch of AirPods Pro leaves Apple in a strong position to maintain dominance in this market for the short term.

Xiaomi's popular Mi Band lineup shipped more than 10 million units during the quarter and the company was able to significantly expand its global reach by targeting countries in the Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region.

Samsung's new watches and hearables (both self-branded as well as JBL-branded) captured 9.8% of the market. To date, the company has been able to successfully bundle its smartwatches and Galaxy buds with its smartphones and this strategy has paid off as many carriers around the world helped promote Samsung's lineup.

Despite political challenges, Huawei ranked fourth globally thanks to a strong performance in its home country of China. Within its borders, Huawei grew 188% year over year, making it one of the fastest growing companies in China. In the rest of the world, Huawei maintained strong growth though shipment volume was much lower as roughly 80% of its shipments were concentrated in China.

Fitbit rounded out the top five and the company's latest wearables and watches have been well received though it still struggled to grow during the quarter. The latest news regarding its acquisition by Google fills the brand's future with uncertainty.
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About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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