Punters want heart-throbs, not brains, when thinking wrist-jobs

If Apple updates the Watch today, it's ignoring the wearable market's trend towards dumb

Basic wearables are what the people want, according to box-counter IDC.

The firm's latest Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker suggests the world treated itself to 22.5 million wearables in the second quarter of 2016, and found that “Basic wearables (devices that do not support third party applications) grew 48.8 per cent from 2Q15 levels while smart wearables (devices that support third party applications) declined 27.2 per cent year over year.”

Basic wearables therefore account for 82.8 per cent of sales. No wonder Fibit is out in front, as IDC's top five table illustrates.

"Basic wearables, which include most fitness trackers, have benefited from a combination of factors: a clear value proposition for end-users, an abundant selection of devices from multiple vendors, and affordable price points," reckons IDC's wearables manager Ramon Llamas. Price is especially important in China, where a vendor called “Lifesense” has hit a nerve with a fitness-tracker called “Mambo” that integrates with big-in-China messaging service WeChat.

Top Five Wearable Device Vendors, Unit Shipments, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q2 2016 (Units in Millions)

Vendor

2Q16 Unit Shipments

2Q16 Market Share

2Q15 Unit Shipments

2Q15 Market Share

2Q16/2Q15 Growth

1. Fitbit

5.7

25.4%

4.4

24.9%

28.7%

2. Xiaomi

3.1

14.0%

3.1

17.2%

2.5%

3. Apple

1.6

7.0%

3.6

20.3%

-56.7%

4. Garmin

1.6

6.9%

0.8

4.2%

106.7%

5. Lifesense

1.0

4.6%

0.0

0.0%

N/A

Others

9.5

42.1%

5.9

33.3%

59.3%

Total

22.5

100.0%

17.8

100.0%

26.1%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, September 6, 2016

Apple's the only smart wearable maker to crack the top five, but even Cupertino's managed just 1.6 million sales in the quarter. And if your correspondent's wanderings are any indication, most of those were sold as trade show prizes.

Llamas reckons smart wearables are currently curiosities, but that goodwill towards the category remains. So if Apple does update the Watch usefully at its September event, there may be life in the category yet. ®

Sponsored: Minds Mastering Machines - Call for papers now open




Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018