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According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), vendors shipped a total of 11.4-million wearables in the first quarter of 2015. Fitbit shipped the most units, with Xiaomi in second place. This is a 200% increase from the 3.8-million wearables shipped in the same quarter in 2014. Though there might have been skepticism from the market when it comes to wearables in the beginning, their popularity however is proving to be growing.
Ramon Llamas, research manager of Wearables at IDC, explains this growth and says that “It demonstrates growing end-user interest and the vendors’ ability to deliver a diversity of devices and experiences. In addition, demand from emerging markets is on the rise and vendors are eager to meet these new opportunities.”
According to the report, Fitbit remains the market leader in the worldwide wearable device market with 3.9 million shipments in Q1. This is more than double its previous year and 34.2 percent of the current market.
What aided Fitbit was the three new devices (the Charge, Charge HR, and the Surge) along with continued demand for its older Flex wristband and One and Zip clip-on models. This different devices cast a wide net in the market thus its market includes casual exerciser to committed athlete. This strategy is what has led Fitbit to sell in the first quarter.
Xiaomi came in the second spot with 2.8 million shipments, claiming 24.6% of the market. Garmin shipped 700 000 units, Samsung shipped 600 000 units, and Jawbone only shipped 500 000 units.
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Xiaomi’s performance is rather impressive, especially given that it only began shipping during the second half of 2014 and that primarily Xiaomi’s Mi Band was delivered within its home country of China. The company however began selling Mi Band outside of China, in markets in Asia, US, UK, France and Germany.
Apple Watch is not part of the report as it was released after the first quarter. There is of course no definite science to foretell how the Apple Watch would influence the data but it is not far-fetched to suppose that it would have in a big way. Llamas sees the absence of Apple Watch in the quarter as a good thing and even beneficiary for the user.
“The Apple Watch will likely become the device that other wearables will be measured against, fairly or not. This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market.” He said.
Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers, thinks that Apple Watch performance will come down to price. Considering that 40% of the devices are priced under $100, Ubrani suggests that Apple’s problems will most likely be from the price of the device.
“Despite this price erosion, Apple’s entrance with a product priced at the high end of the spectrum will test consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for a brand or product that is the center of attention.”