The wearables market has seen over 67 percent annual growth in the past twelve months, but the smartwatch industry continues to drag down the numbers.
Market research firm IDC posted sales results for the first quarter, which shows Fitbit and Xiaomi ahead of the rest by a considerable margin. The two companies hold 24.5 and 17 percent of the market, respectively.
Apple comes in third with 1.5 million sales in the first quarter, accounting for 7.5 percent of the market. It has done considerably better than its rival, Samsung, in fifth place with 700,000 sales.
Android Wear manufacturers did not reach the top five, beaten by Garmin and BBK, a Chinese firm that sells a kids watch. IDC does count more than 37 percent of sales in ‘Other’ however, so it is possible that Android Wear watches surpass Samsung or Apple when combined.
Fitness appears to be the key function for wearables in 2016, as it has been for the past few years. Fitbit sold 4.8 million and Xiaomi sold 3.7 million this quarter; both firms provide inexpensive wearables that track health and fitness with limited interactivity on the wearable.
Smartwatches and wearables going their own ways
“There’s a clear bifurcation and growth within the wearables market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “Smart watches attempt to offer holistic experiences by being everything to everyone, while basic wearables like fitness bands, connected clothing, or hearables have a focused approach and often offer specialized use cases.”
Xmetrics CEO had a similar opinion of the wearable market, saying that in the next few years more customers will move towards a simplistic and singular experience.
That doesn’t mean smartwatches are dead in the water, however it might be a few years before we can expect it to be on the same level as mobiles or PCs.