Wearable device shipments grew 7.7% in 4Q17
Global wearable shipments reached 37.9 million units, marking a decent 7.7% increase from the same quarter last year. In 2017, total wearable device sales rose 10.3% to 115.4 million units, and in 2016, they rose 27.3%, according to IDC. Customers are swapping fitness bands for smartwatches, which is pushing fitness band makers such as Fitbit (FIT) to shift to making smartwatches.
How Apple has become king in the wearables segment
Apple (AAPL) claimed leadership in the wearables market in 4Q17, shipping 8.0 million watches during the quarter, a 57.5% increase from 4Q16. Fitbit had the second-largest market share in the quarter, shipping 5.4 million bands, while Xiaomi placed third with 4.9 million shipments.
When Apple launched its first smartwatch in 2015, it initially got a cold response from customers. However, over the last couple of years, Apple’s watches have seen a higher level of acceptance. Apple Watch shipments surged in 4Q17, after the launch of its first watch with a cellular connection. The uptick in smartwatch shipments also comes as consumers are more willing to buy smartwatches with advanced health-tracking capabilities.