Smartwatches, Wristbands Maintain Strong Growth in Q2 2019: IDC Report

Smartwatches maintain growth in QC 2019
Xiaomi maintained top position in QC 2019 thanks to its latest Mi Band 4 (Image: Xiaomi)

Wrist-worn wearables shipment went up 28.8% in Q2 2019, according to a new report by International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker. During this period 34.2 million units of these devices, which include smartwatches, basic watches and wrist bands, were shipped, said the report. The top 5 companies – Xiaomi, Apple, Huawei, Fitbit, and Samsung – continued to push forward with new products and promotional campaigns during the quarter, collectively capturing 65.7% of the market, an almost 12-point gain from last year.

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“Health is now at the forefront for these devices since companies have started providing actionable insights and prescriptive measures for end users,” said Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Beyond health, mobile payment is also starting to become a mainstay as roughly two out of five wrist-worn wearables now include NFC, and many more simply use QR codes to complete transactions.”

Xiaomi, known for its MI Band series, maintained the top position thanks to its latest Mi Band 4. The company, which focuses almost exclusively on wrist bands, lured new customers with its low-cost fitness trackers. While China is its biggest market, Xiaomi is still prioritizing to expand beyond China, the IDC report states.

Apple came in second in terms of units sold, but the company outpaces all others in terms of dollar value as the average selling price (ASP) for an Apple Watch was $448 during the quarter. The company’s newly announced Apple Watch 5 should help it maintain its leadership in the smartwatch market. IDC anticipates shipments of the Apple Watch to grow by 10.8% by the end of 2019 and capture 38.9% of all smartwatches shipped during the year.

IDC Q2 2019 report
Image: IDC

In the third place was Huawei, a company aimed at capturing the mass market with the Huawei brand and a younger audience with the Honor brand. The new report shows Huawei focused on the Chinese market during the quarter, growing its share, rather than prioritizing international expansion as it had in past quarters.

Wristband market pioneer Fitbit ranked fourth place in the report. Although sale of its smartwatches declined, Fitbit was able to manage overall growth due to the popularity of the newly launched Inspire wristbands.

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Samsung rounded out the top 5 and achieved the highest growth rate amongst the top 5 due to the introduction of its low-cost wrist bands, the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e, and the popularity of the Galaxy Watch.

“Glancing at data – like notifications, fitness stats, and even checking the time – remain the popular use case, but to be able to interact with the device via smart assistants, scroll easily through data with the rotating bezel like Samsung’s smartwatches, or connecting to smart home applications and devices raises wrist-worn wearables’ utility. Layer on top of this the growing market for applications on smartwatches, and the value of these device increase further,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research director, Wearables.