Wearable-Device Market Grew 200 Percent in 1Q, Led by Fitbit

(Los Angeles Times/TNS) -

In the three months leading up to the April release of the Apple Watch, the wearables market continued to show strong growth.

The worldwide wearable-device market recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of steady growth in the first quarter this year, with vendors shipping a total of 11.4 million wearables, according to research firm IDC. That was a 200 percent increase from 3.8 million in the year-earlier quarter.

“Bucking the post-holiday decline normally associated with the first quarter is a strong sign for the wearables market,” IDC research manager Ramon Llamas said in Wednesday’s report.

He said the growth demonstrated growing consumer interest and tech companies’ ability to deliver compelling products and experiences. Demand from emerging markets is also on the rise.

Now that the Apple Watch has hit store shelves, IDC is predicting that the wearables landscape will shift significantly.

“The Apple Watch will likely become the device that other wearables will be measured against, fairly or not,” Llamas said. “This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market.”

The top five wearable vendors were: Fitbit, Xiaomi, Garmin, Samsung and Jawbone.

The market has also seen dramatic price erosion, with more than 40 percent of devices priced under $100.

“Despite this price erosion, Apple’s entrance with a product priced at the high end of the spectrum will test consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for a brand or product that is the center of attention,” said Jitesh Ubrani, IDC’s senior research analyst of worldwide mobile device trackers.