The worldwide market for wearable devices grew 31.4% during the fourth quarter of 2018 (4Q18), reaching a new high of 59.3 million units according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
Apple maintained the number one position with 16.2 million devices shipped in 4Q18, 10.4 million of which were Apple Watches. The Series 4 has been off to a very strong start, and IDC anticipates this to continue as more healthcare organizations and consumers adopt the latest device.
The remainder of Apple's shipments were comprised of AirPods and Beats headphones in the ear-worn category. The company now has 27.4% of the wearables market with 2.15% year-over-year growth, according to IDC.
Growth in the wearable market was driven by new wearables launching during the months leading up to the holiday season as well as new smartphone launches as many were bundled with wearables from leading brands. Shipments for the entire year of 2018 grew by 27.5% with 172.2 million wearables shipped. Much of this growth was attributed to the growing number of ear-worn devices as they captured almost a quarter of the market during the year.