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

Top Rated Comments

Abazigal Avatar
38 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
38 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
38 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
38 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
38 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
38 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iPhone 16 Camera Lozenge 2 Colors

iPhone 16 Plus Rumored to Come in These 7 Colors

Wednesday April 10, 2024 3:52 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Plus may come in seven colors that either build upon the existing five colors in the standard iPhone 15 lineup or recast them in a new finish, based on a new rumor out of China. According to the Weibo-based leaker Fixed focus digital, Apple's upcoming larger 6.7-inch iPhone 16 Plus model will come in the following colors, compared to the colors currently available for the...
apple silicon feature joeblue

Macs to Get AI-Focused M4 Chips Starting in Late 2024

Thursday April 11, 2024 10:10 am PDT by
Apple will begin updating its Mac lineup with M4 chips in late 2024, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The M4 chip will be focused on improving performance for artificial intelligence capabilities. Last year, Apple introduced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips all at once in October, so it's possible we could see the M4 lineup come during the same time frame. Gurman says that the entire...
top stories 13apr2024

Top Stories: M4 Mac Roadmap Leaked, New iPads in Second Week of May, and More

Saturday April 13, 2024 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's hardware roadmap was in the news this week, with things hopefully firming up for a launch of updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models next month while we look ahead to the other iPad models and a full lineup of M4-based Macs arriving starting later this year. We also heard some fresh rumors about iOS 18, due to be unveiled at WWDC in a couple of months, while we took a look at how things ...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...