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
18 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
18 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
18 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
18 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
18 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
18 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)

Related Stories

applewatchseroundup

Apple's Wearables, Home and Accessories Category Sets New June Quarter Revenue Record of $8.8 Billion

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:24 pm PDT by
Apple's Wearables, Home, and Accessories category saw strong growth during the third fiscal quarter of 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during today's earnings call. The category brought in $8.8 billion, up 36 percent from $6.5 billion in the year-ago quarter. According to Cook, the category set a new all-time June quarter revenue record. Wearables, Home, and Accessories includes the Apple...
apple logo cash feature

Apple Briefly Becomes World's First $3 Trillion Company

Monday January 3, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Apple briefly became the world's first $3 trillion company today based on market capitalization, which is the total value of all of the company's outstanding shares. The milestone came after Apple's stock price rose over 40% in the last year. The impressive feat, which Apple achieved when its stock price reached the $182.86 mark during intraday trading, came just over 16 months after Apple be...
ipad mini 3

Supplies of Apple Products to Improve in March Quarter

Thursday January 27, 2022 2:10 pm PST by
Apple faced significant supply constraints across all devices during the first fiscal quarter of 2022, but product supplies are expected to improve in the March quarter, Apple CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal ahead of today's earnings call. "We saw supply constraints across most of our products," Mr. Cook said in an interview Thursday as the company released its results. "We're...
apple lineup except the ipad is sad

Apple Reports All-Time Quarterly Revenue Records for iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services

Thursday January 27, 2022 1:50 pm PST by
Apple today reported its earnings results for the fourth quarter of 2021, which corresponds with the first quarter of the 2022 fiscal year. Overall, Apple reported revenue of $123.9 billion, which is an all-time quarterly record for the company. On a category-by-category basis, Apple also set all-time quarterly revenue records for the iPhone, Mac, Wearables, and Services:iPhone: $71.6...
iPhone 13 Feature Candy Corn

iPhone Was the Most Popular Smartphone in Q4 2021

Tuesday January 18, 2022 5:50 am PST by
iPhones accounted for around one-fifth of all smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021, allowing Apple to reclaim first place as the biggest smartphone vendor, according to a report from Canalys. Canalys estimates that the iPhone accounted for 22 percent of worldwide smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2021. The scale of Apple's shipments is thanks to strong demand for...
Apple Logo Cash Orange 1

Apple to Announce Q1 2022 Earnings on January 27

Tuesday January 4, 2022 2:17 pm PST by
Apple today updated its investor relations page to announce that earnings for the first fiscal quarter of 2022 (fourth calendar quarter) will be shared on Thursday, January 27. The first quarter earnings call will give us insight into sales of the iPhone 13 models, AirPods 3, M1 Pro and Max MacBooks, and other devices during the holiday quarter that ended in December. Apple CEO Tim Cook last ...
iPhone 13 Feature Blue Green

iPhone Becomes Top Smartphone in China for First Time in Six Years

Wednesday January 26, 2022 5:41 am PST by
Apple became the top smartphone brand in China for the first time in six years in the fourth quarter of 2021, Counterpoint Research reports. While smartphone sales in China declined nine percent year on year for the third consecutive quarter in the fourth quarter of 2021, and smartphone sales declined two percent in 2021 for the fourth consecutive year, Apple finally surpassed Vivo to become ...
Apple new macbookpro wallpaper screen 11102020

Mac Shipments Continue to Rise Amid Surge in Demand for PCs [Updated]

Monday July 12, 2021 8:43 am PDT by
Shipments of Macs increased by almost 10 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same time last year, as the surge in demand for computers continued, according to IDC data. The IDC Worldwide Quarterly Personal Computing Device Tracker shows that worldwide shipments of personal computers, including desktops, notebooks, and workstations, reached 83.6 million units in the second...

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...