Emerging markets boost wearables in Q2 - Mobile World Live

Emerging markets boost wearables in Q2

04 SEP 2018

The global wearables market grew 5.5 per cent year on year during Q2 as shipments reached 27.9 million units, largely driven by demand in the emerging markets.

IDC’s quarterly wearable study found emerging markets, which includes Asia Pacific (excluding Japan), central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Latin America grew 14 per cent year on year. This was fuelled by strong demand for basic wristbands, while smart watches also gained traction.

Popularity in emerging markets offset a 6.3 per cent decline during the same period across North America, Japan and Western Europe. IDC said there was a substantial decline in demand for basic wristbands in these markets in the quarter, while the growth in smartwatch shipments was not enough to offset the downturn.

Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers said the decline in mature markets “is by no means worrisome as these markets are in the midst of transitioning to more sophisticated wearables”.

Ramon Llamas, research director for IDC’s wearables team, added smartwatches had met the demand from users wanting more from wearable devices, but there was still a place in the market for basic devices.

“There still exists multiple market segments who prefer simple and inexpensive wearable devices and this is where wristworn fitness trackers and hybrid watchers are finding demand.”

From a value perspective, the wearables market overall experienced growth of 8.3 per cent to $4.8 billion in Q2 2018, driven by the popularity of smartwatches and “their high price tags”.

Apple leads the way
Apple maintained its leading position in the wearables market in Q2, with strong demand for its LTE-enabled watch. The company hit 4.7 million shipments in Q2 2018, up from 3.4 million in Q2 2017, giving it a 17 per cent market share.

Its closest competition came from Chinese vendor Xiaomi, which achieved 4.2 million shipments, through success with its diversified product portfolio of smart shoes, children’s watches and multiple variants of its Mi band.

Fitbit, Huawei and Garmin respectively made up the top five.

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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