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Strong global demand for wearables continues with 49.6m units shipped in Q1

Paul Lipscombe
May 31, 2019

Xiaomi led the way for wrist-worn wearables with 10.7 per cent market share

Global shipments of wearables grew 55.2 per cent year-on-year (YoY) as 49.6 million units were sold in the first quarter of 2019.

Wrist-worn wearables accounted for the majority of the market share with 63.2 per cent, while ear-worn devices saw the fastest growth, with 135 per cent YoY according to IDC figures.

As with tablets, Apple led the way with over a quarter (25.8pc) of the total wearables market share, shipping 12.8 million units in Q1.

Xiaomi with 13.3 per cent, Huawei (10pc), Samsung (8.7pc) and FitBit (5.9pc) completed the top five.

Apple consolidated first position thanks to strong sales of the Apple Watch, AirPods and select Beats headphones products.

IDC research manager Jitesh Ubrani said: “The elimination of headphone jacks and the increase usage of smart assistants both inside and outside the home have been driving factors in the growth of ear-worn wearables.

“Looking ahead, this will become an increasingly important category as major platform and device makers use ear-worn devices as an on-ramp to entice consumers into an ecosystem of wearable devices that complement the smartphone but also offer the ability to leave the phone behind when necessary.”

Xiaomi top wrist-worn chart

However Xiaomi topped the table for wrist-worn devices only with 5.3 million shipments in the first quarter for the year, beating Apple’s 4.6 million.

IDC said strong sales of the Xiaomi Mi accounted for Xiaomi’s success with an estimated five million sales.

Despite coming third and fourth, Huawei and Samsung both saw the biggest growth YoY with 282.2 per cent and 151.6 per cent.

IDC research director Ramon Llamas said: “While the functionalities and capabilities have grown and changed, the one common thread is the relentless focus on health and fitness.

“This has resonated strongly with users and health insurance companies alike, and new health and fitness insights attract a larger audience.”

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