Apple Watch Led Wearables Market in Q2 2018 on Strength of LTE Models

Apple again held the top spot in the wearables market during the second quarter of 2018, shipping 4.7 million Apple Watch units and holding a 17 percent share of the overall wearable market. The new data comes from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, which states that the market as a whole was up 5.5 percent due to "gains in emerging markets."

Markets such as Asia Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Latin America grew 14 percent year-over-year because "basic wristbands" remain in high demand due to their low prices. On the other hand, more mature markets like North America, Japan, and Western Europe declined 6.3 percent year-over-year.

apple watch nike 2018 bands
Still, IDC research analyst Jitesh Ubrani says this decline "is by no means worrisome" because the wearables market is transitioning to become "more sophisticated." Instead of tracking basic data points like steps, calories, and workout minutes, future wearables "are well on track to become prescriptive and diagnostic tools." Rumors related to Apple Watch fall in line with this idea, with reports describing future Apple Watch models that could include an EKG heart monitor and track blood glucose levels.

"The decline in mature markets is by no means worrisome as these markets are in the midst of transitioning to more sophisticated wearables," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.

"While the previous generation of wearables was focused on providing descriptive feedback like step counts, the current and upcoming generations are far more capable and are well on track to becoming prescriptive and diagonistic tools. Surrounding these smarter wearables is a constellation of technologies and service providers that includes app developers, telcos, component makers, healthcare insitutuions and more – each poised for growth in the coming years."

Overall, IDC says that "two key forces" were at work in Q2 2018: "stronger demand for smart wearables" and "slower decline in the basic wearables market." IDC's data describes a smart watch as a product like Apple Watch or Fitbit Versa, while a basic wearable is something like the Fitbit Charge or Garmin Vivosport.

With this in mind, the researchers state that Apple saw continued demand for its LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 in the quarter, which came as a "welcome addition to many telco channels worldwide." In total, Apple saw a 38.4 year-over-year growth in its Apple Watch shipments from 2017 to 2018. It should be noted that Apple itself does not report Apple Watch sales figures, so IDC's numbers today are just estimates.

idc smart watch
Behind Apple's 17 percent share and 4.7 million Apple Watch shipments was Xiaomi, which owned 15.1 percent of the market and shipped 4.2 million devices in the second quarter, a growth of 19.8 percent from 2017. While Fitbit sat at third place with a 9.5 percent share and 2.7 million units shipped, this was the biggest decline tracked by IDC, dropping 21.7 percent year-over-year.

Rounding out the last two spots were Huawei at a 6.5 percent share and 1.8 million units shipped (growing 118.1 percent from the year-ago quarter) and Garmin at a 5.3 percent share and 1.5 million units shipped (up 4.1 percent). IDC says that Garmin "extended its lead over Samsung," knocking the company out of the top five spots as Garmin's shipment volume of smart watches eclipsed its basic wearables volume.

As smart watches continue to grow in popularity, we're about one week away from the official unveiling of the Apple Watch Series 4, which leaked last week. The wearable will have smaller bezels with more visible screen space, and at least one new watch face that includes more complications than ever before on Apple Watch.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

EdT Avatar
74 months ago
I don't want my watch to be a prescriptive diagnostic tool. I just want it to give me notifications, track my workouts, and have a battery that lasts more than a day.
I DO want my watch to have medical diagnostics. Evidently so do a lot of other people otherwise every smart watch maker wouldn’t be trying so hard to add them.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mtneer Avatar
74 months ago
Nice to see this segment slowly build up steam. I remember how many people were calling this a dud because it didn't explode out of the gate.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shanghaichica Avatar
74 months ago
Not suprised at all. I see these all the time now. So much for a flop.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacBebe Avatar
74 months ago
I don't want my watch to be a prescriptive diagnostic tool. I just want it to give me notifications, track my workouts, and have a battery that lasts more than a day.
A lot of people wants health diagnostic tool with their Apple Watch. If what you need is just notification and track workouts, the Apple Watch is overkill for you in my opinion.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jclardy Avatar
74 months ago
Nice to see this segment slowly build up steam. I remember how many people were calling this a dud because it didn't explode out of the gate.
I think with LTE the watch gains a lot more freedom. You can actually go for a run or to the gym without a phone and still have music, workouts, tracking, phone calls and messages.

The S4 is going to be huge with the larger screen and seemingly thinner body (And the cleaning up of the hideous red button.)
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
The Game 161 Avatar
74 months ago
No surprise

Love mine
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 15 Pro FineWoven

Apple Reportedly Stops Production of FineWoven Accessories

Sunday April 21, 2024 6:03 am PDT by
Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories, according to the Apple leaker and prototype collector known as "Kosutami." In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Kosutami explained that Apple has stopped production of FineWoven accessories due to its poor durability. The company may move to another non-leather material for its premium accessories in the future. Kosutami has revealed...
maxresdefault

Apple Announces 'Let Loose' Event on May 7 Amid Rumors of New iPads

Tuesday April 23, 2024 7:11 am PDT by
Apple has announced it will be holding a special event on Tuesday, May 7 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time (10 a.m. Eastern Time), with a live stream to be available on Apple.com and on YouTube as usual. The event invitation has a tagline of "Let Loose" and shows an artistic render of an Apple Pencil, suggesting that iPads will be a focus of the event. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
iOS 17 All New Features Thumb

iOS 17.5 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Sunday April 21, 2024 3:00 am PDT by
The upcoming iOS 17.5 update for the iPhone includes only a few new user-facing features, but hidden code changes reveal some additional possibilities. Below, we have recapped everything new in the iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5 beta so far. Web Distribution Starting with the second beta of iOS 17.5, eligible developers are able to distribute their iOS apps to iPhone users located in the EU...
Apple Vision Pro Dual Loop Band Orange Feature 2

Apple Cuts Vision Pro Shipments as Demand Falls 'Sharply Beyond Expectations'

Tuesday April 23, 2024 9:44 am PDT by
Apple has dropped the number of Vision Pro units that it plans to ship in 2024, going from an expected 700 to 800k units to just 400k to 450k units, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Orders have been scaled back before the Vision Pro has launched in markets outside of the United States, which Kuo says is a sign that demand in the U.S. has "fallen sharply beyond expectations." As a...
Provenance Emulator

PlayStation and SEGA Emulator for iPhone and Apple TV Coming to App Store [Updated]

Friday April 19, 2024 8:29 am PDT by
The lead developer of the multi-emulator app Provenance has told iMore that his team is working towards releasing the app on the App Store, but he did not provide a timeframe. Provenance is a frontend for many existing emulators, and it would allow iPhone and Apple TV users to emulate games released for a wide variety of classic game consoles, including the original PlayStation, SEGA Genesis,...
apple vision pro orange

Apple Vision Pro Customer Interest Dying Down at Some Retail Stores

Monday April 22, 2024 2:12 am PDT by
Apple Vision Pro, Apple's $3,500 spatial computing device, appears to be following a pattern familiar to the AR/VR headset industry – initial enthusiasm giving way to a significant dip in sustained interest and usage. Since its debut in the U.S. in February 2024, excitement for the Apple Vision Pro has noticeably cooled, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On...