The worldwide wearables market took another step forward in the third quarter of 2017 (3Q17) with total shipment volume reaching 26.3 million units, up 7.3% year over year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
Apple's recent introduction of cellular connectivity with the Apple Watch Series 3 is helping provide an uplift to sales and awareness of wearables, adds the research group. The company has seen 52.4% year-over-year growth for its smartwatch.
But while the overall market showed continued growth, it also showed a growing trend towards smart wearables (devices capable of running third party applications) and away from basic wearables (devices that don’t run third party applications), according to IDC. Apple's results reflect the timing of its product refresh late in the quarter and this was evident in the overall shipment increase as the release of its Watch 3 was enough to buoy volumes and remain ahead of the competition, the research group.
“The introduction of a cellular-connected version should spur interest from would-be purchasers going forward, and its slow and purposeful approach to cellular-enabled capabilities (including voice, data, and streaming music) will give users time to acclimate to a smartphone-free experience,” says IDC.
The research group says the Apple Watch has 10.3% of the global wearables market, compared to a 13.7% tie for Xiaomi and Fitbit.