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IDC: wearables shipments hit 33.9 million all-time high

Alex Yau
March 3, 2017

Total shipments for the whole of last year also grew by 25 per cent from 81.9 million to 102.4 million

Wearables shipments in the fourth quarter of 2016 grew year-on-year from 29 million units to a record 33.9 million.

This is according to the latest wearables forecast from market analyst IDC. Shipments for the entire year grew annually by 25 per cent from  81.9 million to 102.4 million. The growth was attributed to new entrants coming onto the market, such as fashion label Fossil and Chinese sporting goods specialist Li-Ning. Ear-worn devices and clothing embedded with contactless sensors also surpassed one per cent of all shipments for the first time in a quarter.

The quarter saw Fitbit dominate with 19.2 per cent of the market, whilst Xiaomi overtook Apple to second with 15.2 per cent. Apple sat in third with 13.6 per cent followed by Garmin (6.2 per cent) and Samsung (5.6 per cent). The rankings remained the same for the entire year.

In 2016 the global wearables market was worth $15.8 billion (£12.9 billion), down eight per cent year-on-year. The UK wearables market was worth $1.35 billion (£1.1 billion), down 10.2 per cent year-on-year.

Global smartwatch revenue was down one per cent year-on-year at $8 billion (£6.5 billion). In the UK smartwatches raked in $917 million (£753 million), down 24 per cent.

IDC senior research analyst Jitesh Ubrani said: “With the entrance of multiple new vendors with strengths in different industries, the wearables market is expected to maintain a positive outlook, though much of this growth is coming from vendor push rather than consumer demand.

“As the technology disappears into the background, hybrid watches and other fashion accessories with fitness tracking are starting to gain traction. This presents an opportunity to sell multiple wearables to a single consumer under the guise of ‘fashion.’ But more importantly, it helps build an ecosystem and helps vendors provide consumers with actionable insights thanks to the large amounts of data collected behind the scenes.”


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