The worldwide wearables market took another step forward in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17) with total shipment volume reaching 26.3 million units, up 7.3% year over year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
But while the overall market showed continued growth, it also showed a growing trend towards smart wearables (devices capable of running third party applications) and away from basic wearables (devices that do not run third party applications).
“The differing trajectories for both smart and basic wearables underscore the ongoing evolution for the wearables market,” said Ramon T. Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “Basic wearables – with devices coming from Fitbit, Xiaomi, and Huawei – helped establish the wearables market. But as tastes and demands have changed towards multi-purpose devices – like smartwatches from Apple, Fossil, and Samsung – vendors find themselves at a crossroads to adjust accordingly to capture growth opportunity and mindshare.”
“Along with a change in the types of devices being sold, there’s also in a change in where the devices are being sold,” said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. “Traditional tech outlets still play a huge role in distribution but companies like Fossil and Movado are pushing forth fashion-oriented channels. Meanwhile, Apple’s recent introduction of cellular connectivity, and Samsung’s longstanding relationship with telcos are also helping provide an uplift to sales and awareness of wearables.”