cl-nz logo
Story image

Wearables market showing no wear as smartwatches drive growth

24 May 2018

The wearables market is in good stead after a vigorous first quarter of 2018.

A report from Canalys shows wearable band shipments grew 35 percent from the year before, representing 20.5 million units.

The research analyst company says this has largely been driven by strong demand for health-centric devices with the bulk of revenue coming from smartwatches – 80 percent of wearables revenue came from smartwatches in Q1 2018, an increase from 74 percent in Q1 2017.

Despite this, smartwatches accounted for just 43 percent of shipped units, showing their worth to the market and the huge decline in value for basic bands.

At the top of the wearables market it’s a two-horse race with Apple just pipping Xiaomi at the post by shipping 3.8 million Apple Watches as opposed to Xiaomi’s 3.7 million units – 90 percent of which was the company’s Mi Bands.

All competing in the fitness wearables space, Fitbit, Garmin, and Huawei rounded out the top five respectively.

“Key to Apple’s success with its latest Apple Watch Series 3 is the number of LTE-enabled watches it has been able to push into the hands of consumers,” says Canalys senior analyst Jason Low.

“Operators welcome the additional revenue from device sales and the added subscription revenue for data on the Apple Watch, and the list of operators that sell the LTE Apple Watch worldwide is increasing each month.”

Apple has quite the stranglehold on the total cellular-enabled smartwatch market – as of the end of the Q1 2018, the company represented 59 percent.

While the Apple ecosystem has a strong LTE watch offering, the lack of a similar product in the Android ecosystem is glaring. If Google decides to pursue the opportunity with a rumored Pixel Watch, it would jump-start much needed competition in this space,” says Low.

After refocusing its GPS expertise into catering to endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, Garmin has emerged as the second largest smartwatch vendor after Apple, with one million smartwatches shipped in the last quarter.

“It brought much needed improvements by adding features such as Garmin Pay to the Forerunner and vívoactive series, and now offers onboard music storage on the latest Forerunner 645,” says Canalys research analyst Vincent Thielke.

“While launching services is a great way to build stickiness, Garmin must ensure it continues to enhance them based on real use-cases. The exercise could prove costly should Garmin be the sole driver of such an ecosystem.”

Canalys says there’s currently a growing rate of replacement for existing wearables users amidst fierce competition among vendors, and as such Fitbit is racing to get its users to upgrade to smartwatches – Canalys estimates smartwatches accounted for 24 percent of Fitbits wearable band shipments in Q1 2018.

“Fitbit is betting on its newly launched Versa smartwatch, while introducing female health tracking to expand its addressable market,” says Thielke.

“Collaboration between Fitbit and Google on the Cloud Healthcare API will help Fitbit get into healthcare systems, and that is a positive move. But Fitbit’s immediate cause for concern will be satisfying investors that it is selling more wearables, something it may not be able to do.”

Story image
Nutanix announces partner award winners
Softbank C&S Japan took home the APAC Distributor of the Year award and Wipro was awarded Global System Integrator of year.More
Story image
Microsoft launches program to help people with disabilities excel in tech
Microsoft wants to help people with disabilities excel in their technology careers, which is why it has launched a first-of-its-kind pilot program to achieve those goals.More
Story image
Fortinet’s ‘zero trust’ approach redefining security
Cornelius Mare, Fortinet A/NZ Director, Security Solutions, explains why taking a ‘zero trust network access’ approach to cybersecurity requires fully-integrated and comprehensive security services and policies.More
Story image
Cambium Networks' "breakthrough" in 60 GHz fixed wireless broadband
The technology can deliver ‘fibre-like’ internet speeds at a lower cost and faster time to market than last-mile wired networks.More
Link image
<span class="coloured">Unleash the intelligent way to automate at Pega Discover – Intelligent Automation</span>
Find out how the world’s largest brands are accelerating business and simplifying systems in this two-hour, interactive virtual event. By the end you’ll be primed to start getting business done smarter and faster while scaling toward your biggest business goals. Register Now.More
Story image
Intelligent Automation – accelerate today and automate for tomorrow
It’s a message that encapsulates the benefits of productivity and innovation, by letting technology take care of menial tasks and giving valuable time back to every business.More