Wearable Internet-connected devices are shipping by the millions, with a focus on fitness leading the way.
More global year-end numbers just came out showing that the wearables market grew 127% in the last quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago.
And the numbers are impressive.
During the holiday quarter, 27 million wearables shipped, according to the Worldwide Quarterly Device Tracker by IDC, which I consider to be one of the best and most accurate research and tracking companies.
For the full year, suppliers shipped 78 million wearable devices, an increase of 172% from the year before.
The clear leader in the field is Fitbit, which shipped 8 million units in the last quarter, almost a third (30%) of all wearables, including smartwatches. It shipped 21 million for the entire year.
Apple’s smartwatch follows Fitbit, but with much less, at 4 million watches shipped or 15% of all wearables.
Of course, for smartwatches alone, Apple leads the way, as I wrote about here yesterday (Smartwatches Overtake Swiss Watches; Apple Leads The Way).
As far as Apple goes in the last quarter, they shipped either 4 million smartwatches, according to IDC, or 5 million, according to Strategy Analytics. No matter, Apple still dominates the smartwatch category.
Recent research from both Canalys and Strategy Analytics showed that 8 million smartwatches shipped in the last quarter, but that’s just smartwatches, as I wrote about here a few weeks back (18 Million Smartwatches Ship; 12 Million Are From Apple).
For the year, Fitbit also leads the way, followed by Xiaomi and Apple. Outside of the top five, 27 million wearable devices were shipped. Here’s the breakdown by market share of the top device makers for the year:
For the last quarter, there are a host of wearable-shipping companies after Fitbit and Apple.
For example, Xiaomi shipped 3 million of its inexpensive fitness trackers that are popular in China. Some of those trackers sell for as low as $11. The $13 version includes heart rate monitoring.
Driven by its Gear S2, Samsung finished just ahead of Garmin as the fourth most shipped wearable in the quarter.
After that, the market is quite scattered, with all other products combined accounting for 10 million units, or 37% of all wearables.
Some of those companies include Motorola, Pebble and Huawei, as well as companies like Recon and Sensoria, makers of eyewear and clothing, according to Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC.
More people will be integrating connected technology with what they wear, yet another driver of The Internet of Everything.