Apple's Wearables Shipments Increasing, but Losing Market Share to Smaller Competitors

Apple's shipments of wearables continued to grow year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, but the company lost overall market share to smaller rivals, according to newly-published IDC data.

apple watch 6s 202009
Companies shipped a total of 104.6 million units in the first quarter of this year, marking a 34.4 percent increase from the 77.8 million units shipped at the same time last year. This is also the first time that first-quarter shipments have topped 100 million units worldwide.

While market leaders like Apple and Samsung maintained their lead during the quarter, most of the growth came from smaller companies like BoAt.

Apple started 2021 the same way it ended 2020: as the clear leader in the worldwide wearables market. Appetite for its smartwatches remained strong with the less expensive SE and Series 3 gaining further traction in the market while its earwear – inclusive of AirPods and Beats – showed sequential declines after reaching record levels in 4Q20.

Although Apple sold five million more wearables in the first quarter of 2021 and stayed the market leader, it lost 3.5 percent overall market share to competitors, most of which were much smaller.

idc wearables q1 2021
IDC wearables data includes both smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, and earwear, such as AirPods. Apple does not provide specific breakdowns of the number of Apple Watch and ‌AirPods‌ models shipped, so IDC's data is based on estimates.

During an earnings call earlier this, Apple said that wearables set a new revenue record in the first fiscal quarter of 2021. Apple's wearables business is now the size of a Fortune 120 company.

Tag: IDC

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Top Rated Comments

Abazigal Avatar
41 months ago
I wouldn’t call the rest competitors, any more than I consider a fire tablet an iPad competitor. Apple probably faces more ”competition” from older generations of their products than anywhere else in the market.

In the end, there is no smartwatch market, only an apple watch market.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Westside guy Avatar
41 months ago

Apple Watch: poor battery life. Now I'm wearing a sport band which only needs to be charged twice a month
I went the other way - wore a fitness band for a couple couple years, then switched to an Apple Watch.

For me, it turned out the notifications were a bigger deal than counting steps... plus the fitness bands I'd used (from Garmin and from Fitbit) didn't seem to last for more than a year. My first Apple Watch was still going strong after three years - I bought a new one, and my brother is happily using my old one.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
yaxomoxay Avatar
41 months ago

The Watch's workout tracking is pretty poor, and really not much better than what my iPhone can do.
That's utter crap. The workout tracking is quite impressive under all circumstances, especially for a multi-purpose item. Show me your BPM's with your iPhone while running...
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
brendu Avatar
41 months ago
Apple never cared about market share. They care about profits and they continue to make more money off their products than any other company on the planet.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Remy149 Avatar
41 months ago

Two things I really wanted to buy from Apple but didn't:
Apple Watch: poor battery life. Now I'm wearing a sport band which only needs to be charged twice a month
Homepod: poor connectivity.
There are 2 full size homepods and 2 homepod minis in my house they all function without any issues and charging the watch once a day isn’t a big deal. Most people don’t even wear regular watch 24/7 so placing it on the charger everyone it’s not being worn isn’t a problem. When you consider the functionality of the Apple Watch vs the devices that have more battery life is almost incomparable
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
carrrrrlos Avatar
41 months ago
Somewhere out there - at a coffee shop, there is someone on a phone call with their iPhone, wearing AirPods, and a Apple Watch, drawing on their iPad with an Apple Pencil, checking email on their Macbook, which fits in a bag or backpack that contains an AirTag. Oh wait that’s me.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)