Wearables are still in style as the global market sees solid growth

The era of the smartwatch is finally here. Well, almost.

According to a new report from IDC, the worldwide wearables market is up by a solid 5.5 percent in the second quarter of 2018. It’s not as big of an increase as some past quarters, but it still shows continued growth in the wearables market — a market that’s largely dominated by Apple.

“Two key forces were at work during the quarter,” said Ramon T. Llamas, wearables research director for IDC. “stronger demand for smart wearables and slower declines in the basic wearables market. Users have come to want more from their wearable devices, and smart watches have met that demand.”

As was to be expected, Apple remained in the top spot when it comes to wearable shipments — something that’s only likely to continue considering the fact that Apple is expected to launch a new line of Apple Watch models, called the Apple Watch Series 4, at its upcoming September 12 event. In terms of market share, Apple held 17 percent, with 3.4 million shipments and a 38.4 percent growth from the second quarter of 2017.

Xiaomi came in second, hot on Apple’s heels with a market share of 15.1 percent. That’s actually not so good for the company, which held the top spot in the second quarter of 2017 with a market share of 13.3 percent — a little more than Apple’s 13 percent at the time.

Fitbit seems to be suffering the worst. While the company commanded a hefty 12.8 percent market share in the second quarter of 2017, in the second quarter of 2018 that market share was down to 9.5 percent — and as Apple and others continue their push into fitness tracking, that downward trend is likely to continue.

While Fitbit fared the worst, Huawei grew the most. The company’s wearable market share grew by a massive 118.1 percent to attain 6.5 percent of the market overall. In general, Huawei seems to be Apple’s biggest threat — recent reports note that Huawei has overtaken Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, and considering Huawei’s huge growth, it’s certainly possible that could eventually happen in the wearables game, too.

The IDC report also notes which regions are growing the fastest. In particular, it seems like Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Africa are growing faster than North America and Western Europe. It will be interesting to see if that changes over the next few years as wearables become increasingly common.

Product Review

With more screen and 1 world-first feature, the Apple Watch still rules the wrist

Apple already ruled the smartwatch market with the Apple Watch Series 3, but the Series 4 elevates it to new levels with more screen, a sleeker design, and even an world-first electrocardiogram app that lets you keep tabs on your ticker.
Deals

The best Apple Watch deals for September 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for September 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Mobile

The iPhone X is growing up. Meet the iPhone XS and XS Max

Apple's special event is over, and we were introduced to the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Here's everything we know about the 2018 iPhone trio, from their cameras to release dates.
Mobile

Polar improves heart rate tracking with its new Vantage wearables

Polar launched its latest lineup of devices. Known as the Polar Vantage V and the Polar Vantage M, both provide a new optical heart rate sensor, additional tracking metrics, and more.
Outdoors

Take your workout up a notch with two new fitness watches from Polar

The new Polar Vantage V and M fitness watches include improved heart rate tracking, better battery life, onboard virtual coaching, and connectivity to allow sharing workouts through social media.
Emerging Tech

Can a bracelet really let you control your dreams?

Like many tech products that emerge on crowdfunding platforms, Instadreamer is at once imaginative, intriguing, and somewhat suspect. The bracelet’s creators say their device will let users “take control of their dreams” by inducing…
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for September 2018

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Emerging Tech

Air Force goes all James Bond with tiny microphone that attaches to teeth

Like something out of Mission: Impossible, members of the U.S. Air Force will soon be able to communicate using a next-generation miniaturized microphone system that clips to their back teeth.
Wearables

Pre-orders for the Apple Watch Series 4 are officially live

Apple officially unveiled the Apple Watch Series 4. From a larger display to a built-in electrical heart sensor, the latest device brings along some notable new features. Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

Skagen’s new Falster 2 smartwatch is now available for purchase

In August, Skagen announced the launch of its new smartwatch to add to its lineup, and it's called the Falster 2. The device features a heart-rate sensor, built-in GPS, and more. It's also now available for purchase.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Self-balancing skates, tiny tripods, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the Web this week. You can't buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Wearables

WatchOS 5 is now available -- here's everything we know so far

Months after Apple announced its latest software at WWDC, you can now download WatchOS for the Apple Watch. WatchOS 5 brings a number of new features including new watch faces and improved health tracking.
Product Review

The Suunto 9 multisport watch has the stamina to outlast even you

The Suunto 9 offers an astounding 120 hours of continuous tracking thanks to its intelligent battery modes and FusedTrack "GPS without GPS" tracking. We put the Suunto 9 through its paces to find out how well these features work.