Apple has moved past its competition and has become the leader in the global wearables market in the final quarter of 2017 according to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. Apple overtook Fitbit and Xiaomi thanks to strong holiday season sales with around eight million shipments in Q4. This gave Apple 21 percent market share during Q4 and an amazing 57.5 percent year-over-year growth. This late surge in sales also made Apple the overall leader in wearables sales for the whole year.
The closest rivals Fitbit and Xiaomi both posted slight declines compared to Q4 in 2016 and had a market share of 14.2% and 13% respectively.
“Interest in smart watches continues to grow and Apple is well-positioned to capture demand,” said IDC research director Ramon 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.”
For the whole year 2017, Apple shipped an estimated 17.7 million smart watches. Apple accounted for 15.3% of the total sales of wearable tech during 2017. This put them on the top spot ahead of Xiaomi (13.6%) and Fitbit (13.3%). There was also a rise in the overall wearable market – which includes smart clothing, fitness trackers, smart eyewear etc. – as it rose 10.3% in 2017 to an estimated 115.4 million products shipped.