Ongoing Demand Fuels a Strong Growth Trajectory for Wearable Devices in Q1 2019 with Wrist-Worn and Ear-Worn Leading the Market, According to IDC

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Global shipments of wearable devices reached 49.6 million units during the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), up 55.2% from the previous year according to data from the International Data Corporation (LINK  ) LINK  . While wrist-worn wearables accounted for the majority of the market with 63.2% share, ear-worn devices experienced the fastest growth (135.1% year over year) and accounted for 34.6% of all wearables shipped.

"The elimination of headphone jacks and the increased usage of smart assistants both inside and outside the home have been driving factors in the growth of ear-worn wearables," said LINK  research manager for IDC LINK  . "Looking ahead, this will become an increasingly important category as major platform and device makers use ear-worn devices as an on-ramp to entice consumers into an ecosystem of wearable devices that complement the smartphone but also offer the ability to leave the phone behind when necessary."

"Shipments of wristwear – including watches and wristbands – grew 31.6% year over year, and continue to dominate the wearables landscape," said LINK  , research director for LINK  . "While the functionalities and capabilities have grown and changed, the one common thread is the relentless focus on health and fitness. This has resonated strongly with users and health insurance companies alike, and new health and fitness insights attract a larger audience."

Company Highlights

Apple maintained the leading position as the company offers three product lines; Apple Watch, AirPods, and select Beats headphones. The Apple Watch in particular has proven to be highly successful at capturing unit share, but more importantly dollar share as the average selling price (ASP) of these watches has increased from $426 in 1Q18 to $455 in the latest quarter. Apple also seems to be employing a similar strategy in its wireless headphone lineup as the latest AirPods are now available with wireless charging and an increased ASP.

Xiaomi ranked second largely due to the popularity of its Mi Band, which accounted for roughly five million shipments. While the company remains focused on the Chinese market, recent investments in Europe and the Middle East have been paying off as the company has managed to gain share in those regions.

Huawei ended the quarter with market-beating growth of 282.2%. The company's success in the wearables market has been directly tied to its success in smartphones as the two products are often bundled together. However, with the recent uncertainty surrounding the company's future in smartphones, the outlook for the wearables side of the business will also remain in flux.

Samsung, like Apple, also offers multiple product lines including the Gear/Galaxy watches and bands, the Galaxy Buds, and select JBL headphones. The launch of Samsung's Galaxy S10 lineup helped the company propel its wearables business through the use of bundling. Outside of that, the JBL lineup of headphones also performed well thanks to the wide variety of options at a low cost.

Fitbit rounded out the top 5 and maintained its positive growth trajectory. The recent launch of the Versa Lite as well as the Inspire series has helped the company reach new users as well as encouraged upgrades, although this has come at the expense of a lower ASP. However, the company remains highly focused on the healthcare/enterprise segment and has continued to make strides in that market, surpassing many of its competitors.

 
Top 5 Wearable Companies by Shipment Volume, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q1 2019 (shipments in millions)
Company  

1Q19
Shipments

 

1Q19 Market
Share

 

1Q18
Shipments

 

1Q18 Market
Share

 

Year-over-
Year Growth

1. Apple   12.8   25.8%   8.6   26.8%   49.5%
2. Xiaomi   6.6   13.3%   3.9   12.3%   68.2%
3. Huawei   5.0   10.0%   1.3   4.1%   282.2%
4. Samsung   4.3   8.7%   1.7   5.3%   151.6%
5. Fitbit   2.9   5.9%   2.2   6.8%   35.7%
Others   18.0   36.3%   14.3   44.8%   26.0%
Total   49.6   100.0%   31.9   100.0%   55.2%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearables Tracker, May 30, 2019
 

In addition to the table above, a graphic illustrating worldwide market share for the top 5 wearables companies over the previous five quarters is available by viewing LINK  .

 
Top 5 Wearable Companies, Wrist Worn Devices only, by Shipment Volume, Market Share, and Year-Over-Year Growth, Q1 2019 (shipments in millions)
Company  

1Q19
Shipments

 

1Q19 Market
Share

 

1Q18
Shipments

 

1Q18 Market
Share

 

Year-over-
Year Growth

1. Xiaomi   5.3   10.7%   3.7   11.5%   43.6%
2. Apple   4.6   9.3%   4.0   12.6%   14.8%
3. Huawei   3.9   7.9%   1.3   3.9%   213.0%
4. Fitbit   2.9   5.9%   2.1   6.7%   35.9%
5. Samsung   2.0   4.1%   1.1   3.3%   92.0%
Others   12.5   25.3%   11.6   36.4%   7.8%
Total   31.3   63.2%   23.8   74.5%   31.6%
Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearables Tracker, May 30, 2019

About IDC Trackers
LINK  products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or LINK  .

About IDC
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (LINK  ), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company. To learn more about IDC, please visit LINK  . Follow IDC on Twitter at LINK  and LINK  .

All product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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Business Wire: 13:30 GMT Thursday 30th May 2019

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