Wearable Device Shipments Slow in 1Q18
Worldwide shipments of wearable devices grew 1.2% during the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18) as shipments reached 25.1 million units according IDC. Growth for the market was far lower than the 18% year-over-year growth one year ago largely due to the 9.2% decline in shipments of basic wearables. During the same period, higher priced smart wearables from the likes of Apple, Fitbit, and numerous fashion brands grew 28.4% as consumer preferences continued to shift towards smarter devices.
Outside of watches and wrist bands, which accounted for 95% of the shipments during the quarter, sensor-laden clothing grew 58.6% year over year. Though the majority of these were step-counting shoes, the list of brands offering shirts, shorts ,and other clothing items with fitness tracking fuctionality similar to the wearables that have been on the market for years, continues to grow. Some even offer users a discreet way to partake in non-fitness related exercises.
Apple Watch shipments grew 13.5% over the previous year as the launch of a cellular connected Watch entered additional markets. Xiaomi captured the second position with 14.8% share of unit shipments. Despite a decline of 28.1%, Fitbit ranked third during the quarter. Utilizing the Honor brand to cater to a younger audience, and the Huawei brand to cater to a more demanding audience, has worked quite well as Huawei managed to capture the fourth position during the quarter. Garmin rounded out the top five list with 5% share, up slightly from its 4.6% share a year ago.
Top 5 Companies by Volume, Share, and Growth, 1Q18 (shipments in millions)