FitBit finally toppled from its first place position in the wearables market, overtaken by Apple and Xiaomi as its shipments faltered and dropped nearly forty percent year over year, new data from International Data Corporation (IDC) indicates.
IDC data shows FitBit’s drop to the number three slot came as shipments plunged 37.7 percent in the first quarter from 4.9 million in 2016 to 3 million this year. Xiaomi, which had been sitting in second place behind FitBit, also saw shipments drop 3.3 percent. But Xiaomi’s 3.6 million shipments and 14.7 percent market share kept it just ahead of third-place contender Apple, which grew shipments 64.1 percent year over year to hit 3.6 million. That boost came courtesy of continued strong demand for Apple’s Watches nearly two quarters after the Series 1 and Series 2 versions launched to the market, the firm noted.
Samsung trailed Fitbit in fourth place with 1.4 million shipments, while Garmin slid into fifth with 1.1 million shipments. Other wearables providers shipped a combined 11.9 million units in the first quarter, the firm said.
“Fitbit finds itself in the midst of a transformation as user tastes evolve from fitness bands to watches and other products,” Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team, observed. “This allowed Xiaomi to throttle up on its inexpensive devices within the China market and for Apple to leverage its position as the leading smartwatch provider worldwide. Now that Xiaomi and Apple have supplanted Fitbit, the next question is whether they will be able to maintain their position.”
Llamas added the latter will be a tough task given FitBit’s 50 million strong user base and prominent position in corporate wellness initiatives.
IDC Mobile Device Trackers Senior Research Analyst Jitesh Ubrani also pointed out the wearables market is ripe for a move into the second phase of product development – that is, a shift away from getting people used to the idea of wearables and an increased focus on putting all the data collected by wearable to good use.
“This is when step counts translate into healthier hearts and minds,” Ubrani commented. “It’s also when we will start to see devices that actually augment our abilities and make our lives easier or more productive rather than just being another screen we keep an eye on.”