Global shipments of wearable devices reached 32 million units in the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18), up 21.7% from the previous year according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
New products from the likes of Fitbit, Garmin, and Huawei helped the basic wearables category return to growth during the quarter, though the Apple Watch still dominates the smartwatch segment. Apple sold 4.1 million smartwatches during the quarter, a 54% increase year-over-year. The tech giant now has 13.1% of the wearable market and 17% of the smartwatch market.
“The smartwatch market evolved during the quarter as the two largest smartwatch brands, Apple and Fitbit, continued to delve deeper into the healthcare market,” says Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst for IDC’s Mobile Device Trackers. “The healthcare market is quickly becoming the next frontier for wearables brands to conquer. With heavy regulation and greater scrutiny, this segment will likely be the one that staves off value brands, allowing the market leaders to further cement their lead.”
Apple launched its Series 4 Watch, its first watch approved for medical use, towards the end of the quarter. The new design and sizes along with the latest version of watchOS were welcome changes though the latest series only accounted for less than 20% of all Apple Watch shipments. IDC says the reduced price on the Series 3 accounted for the majority of Apple’s shipments during the quarter.