IDC: Apple Watch helps fuel strong growth in the wearable market

The worldwide wearable device market took a big step forward in the fourth quarter of 2015 (4Q15), fueled by the growing popularity of fitness trackers and the Apple Watch. 

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 27.4 million units during the holiday quarter, besting 4Q14 levels by 126.9%. For the full year, vendors shipped a total of 78.1 million units, up a strong 171.6% over 2014.

Fitbit ended the year the same way it began the year: as the undisputed worldwide leader of wearable devices, says Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team. Apple grew its Watch distribution, enjoyed holiday promotions, and drove the company's overall “Other Products” revenue during 4Q15. 

“However, volumes for the quarter grew only slightly from the previous quarter and total revenues have yet to counterbalance the slowing growth and declines from the company's other product categories,” says Llamas. “Expectations are higher for the next-generation Watch that can leverage the company's platforms (HealthKit, ResearchKit, WatchKit, and watchOS 2) and connectivity capabilities.”