The Apple Watch was the best selling smartwatch in the fourth quarter of 2017. It was also the highest selling wearable device during the entire year of 2017, reveals a new research from IDC.
The research firm estimates Apple to have shipped 8 million units of the Apple Watch in the fourth quarter of last year. In comparison, Apple shipped only 5.1 million units of the Apple Watch in the fourth quarter of 2016. The overall market share for Apple also increased from 14.4 percent at the end of Q4 2016 to 21 percent at the end of Q4 2017.
Apple is estimated to have shipped 17.7 million units in 2017, up from 11.3 units in the previous year. The total market share also increased from 10.8 percent in 2016 to 15.3 percent in 2017, strongly indicating the fact that Apple is the only brand doing well in the wearable segment.
Among wearable makers, Apple is followed by Fitbit and Xiaomi, who saw a marginal decline in their market shares at the end of fourth quarter of 2017. IDC estimates Fitbit to have shipped around 5.4 million units of its fitness trackers and smartwatch during the fourth quarter of 2017. It now commands a market share of 14.2 percent, down from 18.5 percent at the end of fourth quarter of 2016. Xiaomi managed to ship 4.9 million units of its fitness tracker to gain a market share of 13 percent at the end of Q4 2017. Its shipments declined from 5.2 million units in Q4 2016 and market share also dropped from 14.7 percent.
For the overall year though, Xiaomi is second with estimated shipments of 15.7 million units while Fitbit is third with shipments reaching 15.4 million units. In 2017, Xiaomi had a market share of 13.6 percent while Fitbit managed 13.3 percent. It is interesting that Xiaomi managed to retain second place despite a lack of a new wearable launch while Fitbit’s new smartwatch named Ionic is probably not off to a great start.
Apple’s growth in the last quarter of 2017 could have been led by the launch of new Apple Watch 3, which also supports LTE connections now. However, there is no denying the fact that original Apple Watch, now available at discounted price, makes for a great value purchase for most iPhone users.
IDC and Gartner have repeatedly indicated that the smartwatch as a category remains a failure and it has failed to achieve the critical success. Gartner in particular believes that wearables suffer from high abandonment rate and consumers don’t see value in buying them. The Apple Watch’s success shows how the ecosystem business is working its magic for the iPhone maker even when the larger industry suffers to gain adoption.A