The marketing of wearables isn’t likely to be dying down anytime soon.
The latest tracking of fitness bands and smartwatches shows that the market continues on the rise, with first quarter sales this year beating last by 67%.
Shipments of wearables hit 20 million units in the first quarter, up from 12 million a year ago, according to the quarterly tracking by International Data Corp (IDC).
It will be interesting to see over time how many consumers are buying a fitness tracker or smartwatch for the first time compared to how many are buying one as a replacement, since the capabilities of the little devices continue to evolve and advance.
By brand, Fitbit continues to lead the pack, accounting for 25% of the market and also an annual growth of 25%. As context, here are the rounded number of items shipped into the marketplace in the first quarter:
The report suggest that basic wearables and smartwatches are not in competition with one another, which makes sense with their specific functions and disparity in pricing.
With the lower cost, fitness trackers are way ahead of smartwatches in sales globally, as I wrote about here recently (Fitness Trackers Rule Over Smartwatches; Fitbit Rules).
And more than one in 10 (12%) U.S. consumers already own a fitness tracker or smartwatch, according to the latest Kantar wearables research.
With that relatively small market penetration, the growth of wearables has plenty of room to go.
One recent study found that 15% of U.S. households expect to get a fitness tracker within the next year.
Even with that, and the less than hockey-stick smartwatch growth, the wearables market is still in its infancy.