On one hand the smartwatch market took a tumble this quarter and on the other overall wearables market continued its growth with a 3.1% year over year growth in third quarter of 2016. otal wearables shipments reached 23 million in the quarter, according to data from the International Data Corporation, (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
|Fitbit Charge 2|
Fitbit was once again the market leader in 3Q16 as the vendor released a long awaited refresh for the Charge HR with the Charge 2. Despite recent negativity surrounding the company's long-term strategy and stock price, IDC expects Fitbit to continue leading the pack in the near term. The acquisition of Coin and the potential to expand into the smartwatch category present an opportunity for the company to be more than just a fitness brand. It is also speculated that Fitbit is buying smartwatch maker Pebble.
Top Five Wearable Device Vendors, Worldwide Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year
|Top Five Wearable Device Vendors|
"It's still early days, but we're already seeing a notable shift in the market," said Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "Where smartwatches were once expected to take the lead, basic wearables now reign supreme. Simplicity is a driving factor and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a simple, dedicated fitness device. Meanwhile, from a design perspective, many devices are focusing on fashion first while allowing the technology to blend in with the background."
"Smart wearables have been down in recent quarters, but clearly not out," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. "As user tastes change, so will their needs. That's the opportunity for smart wearables with multi-functionality and third-party applications, both for consumers and business users. To get there, we need to see more intuitive user interfaces, seamless user experiences, standalone connectivity, and applications that go beyond health and fitness and into personal and professional productivity."