Fitbit Continues to Outpace Apple Watch in Broader Wearables Market
The latest data from market research firm IDC reveals that the Apple Watch remained the most popular smartwatch in the first quarter, with an estimated 1.5 million sales and 46 percent market share through the first three months of 2016. Meanwhile, basic wearables unsurprisingly continue to outpace smartwatches.
Samsung was the closest threat to Apple Watch among smartwatches in the quarter, with an estimated 700,000 sales and 20.9 percent market share, followed by Motorola, Huawei, and Garmin with estimated 400,000, 200,000, and 100,000 shipments respectively for a combined 18.6 percent market share.
Apple finished third in the overall wearables market with 7.5 percent market share, behind lower-price fitness tracker vendors Fitbit and Xiaomi. Fitbit commanded a leading 24.5 percent market share off an estimated 4.8 million shipments, while Xiaomi had 3.7 million shipments for 19 percent market share.
Apple does not disclose Watch sales in its quarterly earning results, instead grouping the device under its Other Products category alongside iPods, Apple TVs, Beats Electronics, and accessories. IDC and Strategy Analytics estimates place total Apple Watch sales at nearly 16 million from April 2015 through March 2016.
Fitbit began 2016 the same way it finished 2015: as the undisputed leader in the wearables market. 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. 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.
IDC's data supports the notion that Apple continues to cede market share to Android Wear smartwatches and other wearables as the market evolves. Strategy Analytics data from April, however, had a higher Apple Watch sales estimate of 2.2 million for 52.4 percent market share in the first quarter.
Many prospective buyers are now holding out for the Apple Watch 2, which is rumored to debut in the second half of 2016 and could feature a FaceTime camera, expanded Wi-Fi abilities, cellular connectivity, and thinner design. New bands, finishes, and models are always possibilities as well.