IDC: Apple Watch loses ground as 'basic' wearables boom

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited September 2016
According to the latest estimates from research firm IDC, Apple Watch shipments are plummeting as sales of "basic" smart wearables that do little more than track fitness metrics continue to grow.




For the second quarter of 2016, Apple Watch saw shipments shrink to an estimated 1.6 million units, down 56.7 percent year over year. By contrast, wearables market leader Fitbit shipped 5.7 million units over the same period, up 28.7 percent.

As a result of the dip in shipments, Apple saw its position among top-five wearable device vendors slip from second to third, with its share of the market dropped precipitously from 20.3 percent in 2015 to only 7 percent in 2016. The dip allowed last year's third-place vendor Xiaomi to usurp Apple with a 14 percent share of the market.

Garmin exhibited the highest growth rate and matched Apple's 1.6 million shipments for the second quarter, up 106.7 percent from the same time last year. Newcomer Lifesense placed fifth on one million units shipped.

The overall wearables market grew 26.1 percent during quarter two.

While IDC's figures tell a tale of doom and gloom for Apple, it should be noted that Apple Watch is a smartwatch, while products marketed by producers like Xiaomi are fitness trackers. IDC acknowledges draws the incongruous comparison, noting basic wearables, or those that do not support third party apps, grew 48.8 percent year-over-year, while smart wearables like Apple Watch and certain Fitbit and Garmin products declined 27.2 percent over the same period.

On a higher level the numbers illustrate Apple's competition in the wearable category as a whole. Smartwatch devices are in a battle for valuable wrist space -- users rarely wear a smartwatch on one wrist and a fitness tracker on the other.

Apple is expected to announce a refreshed Apple Watch with GPS capabilities, better waterproofing and a larger battery at a special event tomorrow.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    Would I buy another one? No, I think I'm done. I don't use 80% of the features/apps on it. I love the notifications, but other than that, the screen is just too small to be useful to me.
    edited September 2016 sflagelasdasd
  • Reply 2 of 76
    Great time to compare "market share", just when Apple is about to announce Watch 2.
    fotoformatelectrotechjkichlinestevehpalomine
  • Reply 3 of 76
    Oh no! Someone put the Apple Watch in the same category as "basic wearables" for maximum headlines! Click here for doom!
    lolliverjbishop1039SpamSandwichcanadiandudeelectrotechTurboPGTargonautlkruppjbdragonsteveh
  • Reply 4 of 76
    netroxnetrox Posts: 826member
    wait... a fitbit watch is being compared to Apple Watch?!?!
    SpamSandwichcanadiandudeelectrotechargonautalbegarc
  • Reply 5 of 76
    I wonder if "Units Shipped" for Fitbit includes replacement units? Those things don't have a very long lifespan. Especially the Charge HR. I'm awaiting my second replacement, there are 3 other people in my family that bought one at the same time as me (Less than 12 months ago) and they are all on at least their second replacement. Also I've spoken to several other friends and co-workers that have them and have only found one person that hasn't had to have a replacement unit (they only used it for a few months and now it's sitting in the drawer.

    I know that this isn't a statically significant number of users but I highly doubt it's a rare occurrence.
    edited September 2016 lostkiwijbdragonalbegarc
  • Reply 6 of 76
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,453member
    Great time to compare "market share", just when Apple is about to announce Watch 2.

    I doubt most people outside of these kinds of tech forums know that a new watch is coming.
    palominealbegarc
  • Reply 7 of 76
    I just gave a junky fitbit to my father (literally those things are total PieceOfS's, if he finds value in the tracking features we'll upgrade him to an Apple Watch for christmas - although the sleep tracking feature would be a welcome addition to the Apple watch.
    lolliverjbdragon
  • Reply 8 of 76
    The Apple Watch should be leagues ahead. 

    Its not. 

    Heres why: it's too complicated. 

    I own one. 

    I I really like it 

    but...

    I can can live without it. 

    I dont bother with with most features very often because it's annoying. 

    Cant say say that about my iMac 5k or iPhone 6 Plus.

    watch OS needs a complete rethink. 
    addicted44cnocbuisflagelasdasdanantksundaramfreshmakergatorguydouble9dave
  • Reply 9 of 76
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    Another senseless idiocy from IDC. Bravo IDC for being such morons.
    lollivercanadiandudeelectrotechpalominealbegarc
  • Reply 10 of 76
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    mac_128 said:
    Great time to compare "market share", just when Apple is about to announce Watch 2.

    I doubt most people outside of these kinds of tech forums know that a new watch is coming.
    Most people that own one, and people around them know. That's enough.
    Apple will be promoting heavily during the holiday season and others then will know too.
  • Reply 11 of 76

    I can can live without it. 

    I dont bother with with most features very often because it's annoying. 

    Cant say say that about my iMac 5k or iPhone 6 Plus.

    watch OS needs a complete rethink. 
    Absolutely. There's no way a product can be successful if you can live without it. BMW, Ferrari, and the NFL failed and no longer exist. Also, have you really not heard of watchOS 3, which has been available for months now?
    lolliverfastasleeptmaystevehbrucemcnolamacguypalominealbegarc
  • Reply 12 of 76
    mgmmgm Posts: 1member
    Had the first Apple Watch had a GPS, I would have bought one in a heartbeat. I was mainly looking for GPS track-logging and iPhone integration, as well as basic fitness tracking, but did not want to rely on my iPhone when out hiking in the wild. I found a good deal on a Garmin Epix a year ago (although it was still more than an entry level Apple Watch) and have generally been quite happy. With 8GB of memory, I also have offline topo maps of the US and Canada installed - no need for a data connection or an iPhone when out hiking. Day to day, it connects to my iPhone via BT and I get email, text message and phone notifications (answer and reject calls too), and I can read a good chunk of each message without having to pull my phone out of my pocket. Also, the battery lasts over a week between charges and even when using the GPS heavily, it lasts about 2 days. The downside of the good battery life, is that it's a chunky watch, nowhere near as elegant as an Apple Watch, which isn't exactly slim either.

    With numerous firmware updates, the Epix has proven fairly reliable, but still, it can be laggy at times with an imprecise feeling touchscreen, and it does crash once in a while, and upon reboot, usually the time is *way* off, requiring a satellite lock to reset. That's a pain. Also, Garmin has seemingly given up fixing the remaining bugs on the unit and it has been at least six months since the last firmware update. Also, according to some Garmin forum members, the company has basically given up on this form factor, preferring to put their development resources into their better selling Fenix 3 line. So...

    If an Apple Watch 2 comes along with a GPS, and slightly better battery life than the previous model (hopefully), I will likely take a chance on it. I am sure the iPhone integration, stability and overall user experience will easily trump the Garmin Epix. Also, the Epix does not have a built-in heart-rate monitor, which would indeed be nice to have. So... crossing my fingers on the new Apple Watch. Whether or not it proves as capable as far as track-logging while hiking, and whether or not offline maps will be available to download to it, well... we'll see I suppose. However, if the Apple Watch 2 doesn't deliver, or if the GPS model proves to be overly expensive, then at least I still have my Epix to fall back on. I am curious how many people skipped over the first Apple Watch due to its lack of internal GPS? I may well be a statistical outlier...
    edited September 2016 roundaboutnowwiggin
  • Reply 13 of 76
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    It's like comparing iPhone with all other phones in the market including feature phones and MP3 players...
    electrotechradarthekat
  • Reply 14 of 76
    mgm said:
     I am curious how many people skipped over the first Apple Watch due to its lack of internal GPS? I may well be a statistical outlier...
    Not having GPS didn't really bother me as I always have my iPhone on me. I was able to get a good deal on a brand new space black stainless steel watch with the link bracelet and I've been using my watch daily since I got it. Having GPS would've probably hurt the watch more as it would use more battery life. The newer version looks to have a longer battery life (with that larger battery), but I have no problems lasting the whole day with my watch. Using the sensors is what drains the battery, but I've had no problems using it on my commute (bike ride about 7 miles each way) and also using it for when I jog a few miles the same day. It can get a bit low, but I just throw it on the charging stand and it's good to go after that. When I don't have the sensors running then the battery lasts quite awhile. I have no desire to upgrade to a new watch as I'm happy with mine. It's in great condition as well, very happy with the black stainless steel.
    albegarc
  • Reply 15 of 76
    Apple Watch marketshare should not be compared to basic fitness trackers, but the fact remains that sales are down by 50%. For now the Apple Watch, like the Apple TV before it, is a hobby device.
  • Reply 16 of 76
    Watches have been dying a slow death. Almost no one I know, under 70, wears one except for fashion statement, and smartwatches don't cut it in this area.

    At the moment smartwatches, even Apples, don't have enough added benefit to entice most people to buy them.


    cropr
  • Reply 17 of 76
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    simply258 said:
    Apple Watch marketshare should not be compared to basic fitness trackers, but the fact remains that sales are down by 50%. For now the Apple Watch, like the Apple TV before it, is a hobby device.
    The watch has been out 15 months and its near its refresh date, of course sales will be down.
    You know what's also down 50% a year out from release on a regular basis... THE IPHONE.

    And down since what?
    The first quarter of availability when there was pent up demand and it had been announced for nearly a year?

    It sold at least 15M copies so its far from a hobby device, unless your "hobby" is a FORTUNE 500 company.
    radarthekatRocwurstpalomine
  • Reply 18 of 76
    mac voyermac voyer Posts: 1,283member
    This reminds me of when the iPad was being demolished by white box tablets. I wonder if those discontinued McDonnalds step counters were figured into the wearables that are crushing Apple Watch.
    TurboPGTargonautpalomineanton zuykov
  • Reply 19 of 76
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,399member
    sog35 said:
    In related news:  Louis Vutton is losing ground to Glad Trash Bags.

    Give me a break AI.  An AppleWatch and a basic pedometer band are not even close to competing products.

    Losing ground for now.

    These basic ass activity trackers will die a fast death like so many other 1 purpose devices - pocket cameras, standalone GPS units and Walkmans.

    And you remember Netbooks?  What a hit right? Peopler were attracted to the low price but then figured you could hardly do anything with them. Same with these trackers.  IMO, these standalone activity trackers will be a niche product like standalone GPS units in less than 3 years.
    While they are all very different device, since they are functional devices—as opposed to simply jewelry—that are worn on the wrist, I don't have a problem with categorizing these electronic and/or mechanical utilities into a single grouping.

    Not listed, but wouldn't you like to know if smartwatches and pedometers are chipping away at the traditional watch market? Let's remember that we typically only have 2 wrists, and usually only wear one device per wrist.

    Personally, I find the wrist to be one of the few ideal places on the body where you can have easy access for input and output without getting in the way or other activities, which means I'd like the size of the display and functionality to grow tremendously in the coming years. For example, I'd like to see how a 16:9 display works on a wrist; but that's not going to happen until culture changes to want more functionally, not unlike how the 3.5" iPhone was excessively large and it's considered laughably tiny.

    That said, it would also be nice to have proper smartphones compared to each other. This repot is kind of like saying the original iPhone is shit because some Nokia and Moto dumb phones are far outselling it.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 20 of 76
    fracfrac Posts: 480member
    Breaking....
    "According to a frac AI survey, IDC has suffered a precipitous fall in the 'credibility' catagory of market trend reporting and a shocking rise in it's irrelevancy index rating"
    radarthekatalbegarc
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