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December 6, 2016

Apple Watch sales plunge as Fitbit continues to rule wearables market

IDC says basic wearables now reign supreme.

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple Watch’s share of the overall wearables market continued to decline in the third quarter of 2016 with just 1.1 million shipments, compared to 3.9 million units sold in the same period last year.

The drop means Apple’s share of the wearables market dipped from 17.5% to 4.9% in a year, representing -71% growth.

The overall wearables market increased 3.1% year over year in Q3 with total shipments reaching 23 million in the quarter, according to data from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.

Apple’s decision to launch its second-generation watches in mid-September, towards the end of the quarter, likely contributed to the decline.

The primary reasons for the decline were an aging lineup and an unintuitive user interface, IDC said.

During the quarter, Fitbit led the market with 5.3 million units shipped, which

Fitbit continues to lead the wearable market.

Fitbit continues to lead the wearable market.

represents an 11% increase from the same quarter in 2015 when the company shipped 4.8 million devices.

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Xiaomi stood at the second place during the quarter with 3.8 million shipments while garmin nabbed third place with 1.3 million units shipped.

Behind Apple, Samsung grabbed the fifth place with 1 million units shipped.

Basic wearable devices, which were mostly fitness bands, made up 85% of the market and also experienced double-digit growth.

IDC Mobile Device Trackers senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said: “It’s still early days, but we’re already seeing a notable shift in the market.

“Where smartwatches were once expected to take the lead, basic wearables now reign supreme. Simplicity is a driving factor and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a simple, dedicated fitness device. Meanwhile, from a design perspective, many devices are focusing on fashion first while allowing the technology to blend in with the background.”

IDC believes that smart devices such as the Apple Watch will continue to face a challenging outlook in the overall market.

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