After its first quarter joining the ranks of companies manufacturing wearable devices, Apple finished No. 2, behind Fitbit and ahead of Xiaomi. Apple’s strong debut in the wearables market is both good and bad for its competitors, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).
Apple shipped 3.6 million units of its only wearable device, the Apple Watch, in the second quarter of 2015, giving the company 19.9 percent of the global market. About two of every three smart wearables shipped in the quarter was an Apple Watch, according to Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
Fitbit shipped 4.4 million units of its wearables, good for a world-leading 24.3 percent of the market. This also reflected 158.8 percent year-over-year growth from the 1.7 million units the company shipped in the second quarter of 2014.
Xiaomi finished the second quarter in third place with 3.1 million wearble units shipped, giving it 17.1 percent of the market. Garmin (0.7 million units, 3.9 percent of the market) and Samsung (0.6 million units, 3.3 percent of the market) rounded out the top five. Other wearble vendors combined to ship 5.7 million units during the quarter.
Apple’s entrance into the wearables market draws attention to the entire market, according to Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “Its participation benefits multiple players and platforms within the wearables ecosystem, and ultimately drives total volumes higher,” he said. “Apple also forces other vendors — especially those that have been part of this market for multiple quarters — to re-evaluate their products and experiences.”
Llamas adds that Apple will become the measuring stick for other wearable manufacturers and that “everyone will be watching to see what other wearable devices it decides to launch, such as smart glasses or hearables.”