Fitbit continued its domination of the wearables market in the first quarter 2016, but lost some of its lead over up and coming competitor Xiaomi, new data from International Data Corporation (IDC) shows.
According to IDC, Fitbit remained the number one wearable vendor in the January to March quarter with 24.5 percent of the market share and 4.8 million shipments. But while the brand’s year over year shipment totals grew by just over 25 percent, Fitbit’s market share actually decreased from 32.6 percent in the first quarter 2015.
Fitbit’s slide – which was partially attributable to gains made by Apple and BBK – gave second-place company Xiaomi an opening to close the gap in market share between the two. In the first quarter 2015, Xiaomi nearly halved the market share percentage separating it from Fitbit, slicing it from 10.2 percent last year to just 5.5 percent. Overall, Xiaomi snagged 19 percent of the market share and recorded 3.7 million shipments for the quarter for year-over-year growth of nearly 42 percent.
Apple came in third place with 1.5 million shipments and 7.5 percent of the market share for the quarter, while Garmin trailed in fourth and Samsung and BBK tied for fifth.
IDC said total shipments of wearables reached 19.7 million units in first quarter, an increase of 67.2 percent from the 11.8 million units shipped in first quarter 2015.
But while Apple and Fitbit were lumped together in the overall wearable vendor list, IDC noted there is a clear distinction between Apple’s high-tech Watch and Fitbit’s simplistic offerings.
“There’s a clear bifurcation and growth within the wearables market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “Smart watches attempt to offer holistic experiences by being everything to everyone, while basic wearables like fitness bands, connected clothing, or hearables have a focused approach and often offer specialized use cases.”
Ubrani said basic wearables and smart watches are not really in competition with one another thanks to substantial differences in price and performance. Both segments have plenty of room to grow over the next few years, Ubrani said.