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Image from FitBit

A recent report from International Data Corporation (IDC ) has shown that China has quickly emerged as the fastest-growing wearables market, attracting companies eager to compete on price and feature sets .A quarter after Apple debuted as the number two wearables vendor worldwide, Chinese vendor Xiaomi finished the third quarter of 2015 (3Q15) as a strong contender for this position. Similarly, newcomer XTC beat out Samsung as the world’s number five wearables vendor. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC ) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker , total shipment volume for the quarter came to 21.0 million units, up 197.6% from the 7.1 million units shipped in 3Q14.

“The early stages of the wearables market have led to tight competition among the leading vendors, and Chinese vendors have seized upon market momentum to grab market share,” noted Ramon Llamas , Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “China has quickly emerged as the fastest-growing wearables market, attracting companies eager to compete on price and feature sets. In addition, multiple vendors have experimented with a broad range of products and applications. The challenge, however, is whether these vendors can expand their presence, as few have extended beyond the country’s borders and into other markets.”

While there has been clear growth in the wearable market, there has been little sign of product cannibalization. Smart watches have drawn increased attention to the market from the likes of Apple, Motorola, Pebble, and Samsung, but this has not dampened interest in fitness trackers. By the end of 3Q15, shipment volumes for both product categories increased sequentially and year over year, showing that, for now, the categories can co-exist and grow. This also provides end users with choice in terms of feature sets and functionalities, ranging from simple fitness tracking to smartphone-like experiences.

“The bifurcation doesn’t just exist in features, but also in price,” said Jitesh Ubrani , Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “The average smart watch or band came in at just over \$400 and the average basic watch/band at \$94. This leaves a lot of room for new players like Fossil and niche players like Pebble as they have an opportunity to address this space.”

Vendor Highlights

Fitbit relied on its popular Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Surge models to maintain its leadership in the worldwide wearables market, and also saw continued growth within the Asia/Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) markets. Equally noteworthy has been its fast-growing Corporate Wellness strategy during the quarter, which added North American retailer Target and its order of 335,000 fitness trackers for its employees. Target joins Bank of America, Time Warner, and more than 70 other Fortune 500 companies to deploy Fitbit devices to its employees.

Apple posted a slight increase from the previous quarter, mostly the result of additional markets and channels coming on line. End-user attention has been going toward its entry-level and least expensive Sport line, to which Apple responded by introducing gold and rose gold models. In addition, Apple released watchOS 2, bringing native third-party applications to the device.

Xiaomi’s inexpensive Mi Band buoyed volumes higher during the quarter, with more than 97% of its volumes shipping into China. Volumes outside of China remain limited, although progress has been made in Western markets. Adding to Xiaomi’s selection is its Mi Band Pulse, which added real-time heart rate monitoring and was released on Singles Day (November 11) in China.

Garmin’s focus on citizen athletes with wearables for running, golf, swimming, hiking, and aquatics kept the company well entrenched as the clear number four vendor worldwide. With a deep and broad product portfolio and multiple price points, Garmin has been well-positioned to cover numerous market segments and address the rising fitness tracker category with its Vivo sub-brand of bands and watches.

Chinese vendor XTC, a subsidiary of BBK, beat Samsung for the number five position by 100,000 units in its worldwide debut. Like other Chinese vendors before it, XTC maintained its focus exclusively within China, and with just one device: the Y01, a children’s phone watch.See full report from IDC

 

Kenneth Omeruo
Omeruo Ndukaku Kenneth is an Innovation Management expert,the CEO of Emerging Media,a new media company.He is a member of ISPIM - International Society for Professional Innovation Management and the US-Africa chamber of Commerce.He is the Founder of TechTrends Nigeria Blog,Nigeria Innovation Summit and the African Innovation Academy.Kenneth is a highly sought-after Internet Marketing Consultant who has through his seminars, articles, training and consulting, helped many organizations, Individuals, Businesses maximize the Internet for business purposes.Kenneth has also being featured as a guest on the TV show TODAY ON STV Nigeria and on Bloomberg Africa TV.He is the author of the best –selling Internet Book: How To Create Unlimited Internet Wealth. He is a syndicated columnist with the following Newspapers in Nigeria: Daily Independent, Financial Standard, PUNCH, BusinessDay, and Sun.Kenneth organises the EduNet Conference for Universities in Nigeria. Kenneth is a member of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria( ISPON ) Roundtable For Capacity Development in Nigeria,member pre-selection committee for Nigeria at the UN World Summit Awards,a Panelist for Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria(YouWIN)-a Federal government initiative created by the ministry of finance,supported by ministries of Communications Technology,Youth Development,Worldbank and DFID. A 2013 Judge at the Google Cloud Developers Challenge for Sub Saharan Africa.He has been a contributing editor of Nigeria Communications Week,Africa Telecom and IT Business Magazine,ICT Today magazine,M2 magazine.Kenneth has been invited to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Forum, Oracle Open World Conference USA, Oracle Cloud World Dubai, and GITEX Dubai. He now lives in New York with his family and presently working on an Open Innovation project for Nigeria. You can contact Kenneth through email: (kenneth (at)techtrendsng.com) Facebook:www.facebook.com/Kenneth.omeruo On Twitter:www.twitter.com/kennethomeruo Skpe:Kenneth.Omeruo

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