No matter how hard they try, leading electronics manufacturers and fledgling tech startups alike have failed to draw mainstream consumers to their smart wearables even though they have been in the market for years now. While smartphones became ubiquitous a long time back, smartwatches, wristbands and fitness trackers have continued to remain niche for the most part. While vendors are still shipping millions of these devices worldwide, they’re still just a drop in the ocean when compared to the gigantic numbers being churned out by the smartphone industry every year. Q2 2016 alone is believed to have seen sales of almost 350 million smartphones worldwide even though the market is said to be cooling down.
According to the latest set of numbers released by IDC (International Data Corporation) as part of its ‘Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker’, the total shipments of smart wearables during the second quarter of this year came in at 22.5 million devices, which represented a 26.1% increase over the same period last year. While basic, inexpensive fitness trackers continued to rule the roost with a 48.8% growth in sales over Q2 2015, sales of more expensive smart devices that come with support for third-party apps fell a whopping 27.2% on a YoY basis. If the report from IDC is anything to go by, the sector today is dominated almost entirely by basic wearables, which apparently account for as much as 82.8% of the entire market.
Taking a quick look at the companies that have managed to stand out, Fitbit continues to retain its number one spot with a 25.4% market share globally. The company managed to ship 5.7 million devices during Q2 2016, which is a growth of 28.7% over the same period last year. Xiaomi comes in at number two with 14.% market share, although, the company only managed to increase its sales by a measly 2.5% during the quarter. Apple and Garmin came in at numbers three and four respectively by shipping 1.6 million devices apiece, but while the Garmin managed to increase its sales by a whopping 106.7% during Q2 2016, Apple’s sales fell 56.7% during the period. Chinese tech company, Lifesense, a new entrant in the segment, rounded off the top five with sales of 1 million units during the quarter.