With the downfall of Pebble late last year, it looked like the wearables market could be in trouble.
Nope. It hit an all-time high with 33.9 million units shipped in the fourth quarter of 2016, growing 16.9 percent year over year, according to the latest data from analytics firm IDC.
The report revealed the diverging paths of two of the most recognizable names in the game: Fitbit and Apple.
Fitbit held onto its perch atop the wearables food chain, but it’s slipping. Meanwhile, the Apple Watch had its most successful showing since entering the space in April 2015. It’s a big reversal from Apple’s decline in Q3 2016 — and it shows the wearables market could be in the midst of another shift.
As for Fitbit, it dropped from owning 23 percent of the wearables market last quarter to 19.2 percent now.
This comes as no surprise, since the company acknowledged its disappointing Q4 2016 performance — and laid off 6 percent of its workforce — at the end of January.
The Apple Watch, on the other hand, had a huge resurgence at the end of 2016. While the company doesn’t disclose exact sales numbers, other projections held that Apple’s devices dominated the smartwatch market during the quarter, accounting for nearly half the units shipped.
IDC’s numbers show similar results. Apple accounted for 13.6 percent of the wearables market in Q4 2016, making up a ton of ground from when it held just a 4.9 percent share the period before. The report cited the Apple Watch’s introduction of GPS and more fitness-centric features, along with the timing of the Series 2 release, as the cause for its success.
So why is Apple rising by embracing fitness applications while Fitbit, which specializes in activity tracking, stumbles?
Having a shiny new version of the Apple Watch definitely didn’t hurt — but the device’s superior connection to the iPhone could be another big draw. Until wearables become dependable standalone gadgets, their usefulness beyond basic fitness tracking will be the best way to demonstrate their worth to consumers.
Source : www.mashable.com
Author : Brett Williams