Apple's stranglehold on wearables market continued in Q1

Apple's stranglehold on wearables market continued in Q1

Apple continued to dominate the global wearables market in the calendar first quarter of 2020, says a report by IDC.

Apple Watch, for example, saw a year-over-year unit sales decline, but AirPod sales exploded and Beats sales grew, propelling the firm to another first-place finish with an estimated 21.2 million units sold, good for 29.3 percent marketshare.

However, the growth was disproportionately spread across various form factors with wristbands and hearables (ear-wear) offsetting the decline in volumes related to the smartwatches and basic watches, says the Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker released by IDC.

Overall, the worldwide shipments of wearable devices were recorded at 72.6 million units making the market grow by 29.7% year over year in this quarter. Samsung shipped 8.6 million units, a year-on-year increase of 71.7%, and the market share accounted for 11.9%.

It seems that consumers who are otherwise stuck at home during the pandemic are "clamouring" for these devices to not only listen to audio, but to increase productivity in order to help them filter out background noise and stay focused while working from home - something that we can tell you from personal experience that the AirPods Pro are absolutely great for, thanks to their active noise cancellation. Xiaomi shipped 10.1 million units, a year-on-year increase of 56.4%, and the market share accounted for 14.0%. Some brands such as Huawei, Garmin, and Huami managed to weather the impact during the quarter.

COVID-19 epidemic also affected the supply of smart and basic watches.

"The downward pressure on watches shifts the onus to the latter half of 2020", said Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables Team. 'This gives companies the time to refine their products and messaging, and to align those with customer needs.

Xiaomi landed in second place, with 7.3 million bracelets and watch shipments.

However, a new report by technology market analyst IDC sheds some light on just how significant the growth within Apple's wearables segment actually was, with a look at how Apple's products fared against its fiercest competitors.

Fitbit came in fifth, seeing a 26.1% decline during the quarter, as much of its production was based in China, which experienced supply problems for several weeks.

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