Apple Watch sales continue to outperform competitors by a significant margins. A new report from IDC estimates Apple shipped eight million units worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2017, making it the best selling wearable during that period.
… According to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, total volumes for the quarter reached 37.9 million units, up 7.7% from the 35.2 million units shipped in the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, total wearable device shipments reached 115.4 million units, up 10.3% from the 104.6 million units shipped in 2016.
“The 10.3% year-over-year growth in 2017 is a marked decline from the 27.3% growth we saw in 2016,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC’s Wearables team. “The slowdown is not due to a lack of interest – far from it. Instead, we saw numerous vendors, relying on older models, exit the market altogether. At the same time, the remaining vendors – including multiple start-ups – have not only replaced them, but with devices, features, and services that have helped make wearables more integral in people’s lives. Going forward, the next generation of wearables will make the ones we saw as recently as 2016 look quaint.”
Apple, meanwhile, suddenly finds itself atop the wearables market. “Interest in smartwatches continues to grow and Apple is well-positioned to capture demand,” added Llamas. “User tastes have become more sophisticated over the past several quarters and Apple pounced on the demand for cellular connectivity and streaming multimedia. What will bear close observation is how Apple will iterate upon these and how the competition chooses to keep pace.”
IDC says one in every five wearables shipped in Q4 2017 was an Apple Watch. The wearable rode the wave of the new Series 3 Apple Watch models back in September.
Nearest competitor Fitbit reported 5.4 million units sold last quarter, while third-place Xiaomi shipped 4.9 million units, says IDC. Both Fitbit and Xiaomi make a number of inexpensive fitness trackers, which makes the Apple Watch’s spot at the top just that much more impressive.