Apple takes the lead in wearables market

As Fitbit struggled through its business transformation in Q4, Apple gained momentum with the Series 3 Watch, IDC reports.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Video: Apple Watch Series 3

Apple has broken away as the clear leader in the wearables market, thanks to the popularity of the Series 3 Watches, IDC reports.

After closely trailing Fitbit and Xiaomi for several quarters, Apple came out on top in the fourth quarter of 2017, shipping 8 million Apple Watches. The Cupertino company captured 21 percent of Q4 market share, up from 14.4 percent in Q4 2016.

While Apple gained momentum by adding cellular connectivity to its smartwatch, Fitbit struggled through its ongoing business transformation. The company owned 18.5 percent of the market in Q4 2016, putting it at the top of the wearables market, but it claimed just 14.2 percent in Q4 2017.

The wearables market overall grew 7.7 percent in Q4, when compared with Q4 2016. For the full year, sales were up 10.3 percent over 2016. That's notably slower than the 27.3-percent growth the market saw the year prior. Meanwhile, average selling prices rose by double digits as consumers gravitated toward more sophisticated devices.


"Combined with the potential to sell added software and services, wearables are proving to be an increasingly lucrative market for brands and service providers." said IDC's senior research analyst, Jitesh Ubrani, in a statement.

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