Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Prime Day Deals
    09:43 Deals

    These early Prime Day deals have prices so low, it’s like Amazon made a mistake

  2. Prime Day Deals
    07:58 Deals

    Amazon has 10 new early Prime Day deals you need to see to believe

  3. amazon nest thermostat 3rd generation
    14:02 Deals

    Newest Nest Thermostat gets a rare Amazon discount ahead of Prime Day

  4. Best Amazon Deals Today
    07:58 Deals

    15 hidden Amazon deals that are so exclusive, they’re only for Prime members

  5. Amazon Deals
    10:18 Deals

    Today’s best deals: Early Prime Day deals, $15 Echo Auto, $4 smart plugs, $50 off Ai…

That was fast: Apple Watch zooms to lead in ‘smart wearables’

August 28th, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Only a few months after shipping its first wearable, Apple is now the leader in the emerging global smart wearables market and within striking distance of the overall wearables market front runner.

Market researcher IDC released wearables market share numbers for the second quarter on Thursday and Apple, in typical fashion, is already the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

“In its first appearance in the wearables market, Apple finds itself within striking distance of the established market leader, Fitbit,” IDC said in a statement. Fitbit makes a popular series of fitness trackers.

Related: Apple Watch review: A new convert

And Apple is already a leader in the highest-end segment of the market.

“Apple is the leader in smart wearables and this lead will likely continue for the remainder of the year,” IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani, wrote in an email to

Though Fitbit shipped more wearables than Apple, Fitbit’s offerings are relatively basic compared to the Apple Watch, according to the release.

Basic wearables – which don’t run third-party applications and include most fitness trackers – are expected to lose share over the next few years, likely making Apple the overall wearable leader, Urbani wrote.

Related: Is the Apple Watch a Success?

Here’s another surprise — Apple shipped 3.6 million watches in the second quarter, according to IDC. That’s more than some leading financial analysts had been forecasting.  For instance, Steve Milunovich of UBS, one of the top Apple analysts, forecast only about 2 million. Apple’s number is just 0.8 million units behind Fitbit’s 4.4 million units, IDC said.

IDC also expects the watchOS – the Watch’s operating system – to improve and drive more sales. At its developer conference in June, Apple said that the second version of the Watch software, WatchOS 2, will allow third-party apps to run “natively.” This means that third-party software vendors can access more features on the watch, such as the Digital Crown and heart rate sensor, and tap into new application programming interfaces, or APIs.  That could boost the popularity of the Watch, similar to what the app market has done for the iPhone, IDC said.

The wearables market overall saw a burst of growth over the same period last year. Total global shipments of wearables for the quarter came to 18.1 million units, up 223.2 percent from the 5.6 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2014.

Other players 

Fitbit is still thriving, despite the Apple surge. In the second quarter, it had triple-digit year-over-year worldwide volume growth and double-digit year-over-year worldwide revenue and profit growth, IDC said.

Xiaomi, as the No. 3 global supplier, has seen success in the Chinese market with the Mi Band.  Samsung is the No. 5 wearable supplier. It’s seen modest success with the Gear S and Gear Fit devices, and is expected to bring out a redesigned Gear S2 next month, IDC said.

But “given Samsung’s history of making its latest wearable devices compatible only with Samsung’s top models and nearly exclusive reliance on Tizen (an operating system), the company has limited its potential reach,” IDC added.

by Brooke Crothers

More from Tech:

Popular News