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Apple Watch is already killing off other wearables

Global wearables market

At this point, it’s pretty clear that not only Is the Apple Watch the king of the smartwatch hill, but it’s going to stay that way for the time being — a reality that new data out from IDC covering the second quarter helps to reinforce.

IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report shows Apple in the top spot having shipped 4.7 million units of its signature wearable during the quarter, with the Apple Watch also boasting a 17 percent share of the market. Its closest rival is Xiaomi, which shipped 4.2 million units and is holding on to 15 percent of the wearable market.

The numbers get much smaller from there. Fitbit is losing ground, having shipped 2.7 million units during the quarter, down from 3.4 million during the same period last year. Befitting the aggressiveness we see on the smartphone side of its business, meanwhile, Huawei came out swinging during the quarter, growing its wearable shipments to almost 2 million from less than one million during the second quarter of 2017.

So, what are we to make of all this? For starters, Apple has reverted to form and is crushing it among consumers who especially crave iDevices. According to the report, “Apple maintained its position atop the wearables market with market-beating growth and continued demand for its LTE-enabled Watch. This makes it a welcome addition to many telco channels worldwide. Now that the company has unveiled watchOS 5, it has also begun to chart out potential replacement cycles as the latest version of Apple’s smartwatch platform will be compatible only with Series 1 and later.”

Ramon Llamas, research director for IDC’s wearables team, also tries to put these results into context by noting that “Users have come to want more from their wearable devices, and smart watches have met that demand.”

Speaking of smartwatch demand, we’re almost one week out, as everyone knows by now, from Apple’s annual fall showcase event at which we’re expecting the company to unveil the fourth series of the Apple Watch. Leaks last week showed off a gorgeous new digital timepiece that includes even smaller bezels and the ability to pack more data on the watchface.

The company is apparently making a big leap forward with the design it’s unveiling next, at the highly anticipated Sept. 12 event. Maybe it will finally be the model that dethrones the oldest model of the Apple Watch, series 1, as the most popular, more than three years after its launch.

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy Meek is a reporter who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming. Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.