Fitbit leads wearables market growth in Q4

Ivan Hill
March 4, 2017

For the full year, Xiaomi's numbers look a bit more competitive, instead of the massive 96.2% increase in the fourth quarter, they saw a growth of 31% for the full year.

There has been some negative speculation in the world of smartwatch technology in that the wearable has not been taken on with the public as initially hoped. So while smartwatches are struggling to sell, fitness trackers are more than doing their fair share of sales. Then superior smartphones came in, but now it is the next step - the era of smart wearables. However, "once these devices become connected to a cellular network, expect unique applications and communications capabilities to become available".

"This will also solve another key issue: freeing the device from the smartphone, creating a standalone experience".

Fitbit, which continued to lead the segment with 19.2 percent market share, witnessed 22.7 percent drop in unit shipments to 6.5 million in the December quarter. Xiaomi's market share rose considerably from 9.1% in the year-ago quarter.

Adding to that, the company is making its efforts to retain its loyal investors by talking about their plans, for instance, how it plans to use Pebble which it acquired in 2016 in a bid to achieve its market ventures in the wearable industry.

However, there's been a shift in the focus of the devices themselves. "This presents an opportunity to sell multiple wearables to a single consumer under the guise of 'fashion.' But more importantly, it helps build an ecosystem and helps vendors provide consumers with actionable insights thanks to the large amounts of data collected behind the scenes".

It's also helped by the fact that, according to the report at least, Fitbit is too focused on the U.S. - a saturated market where most people who might want a fitness tracker likely already have one. In other countries, Fitbit is challenged by lower cost competitors overseas. The company has registered year-over-year growth of 96.2 per cent majorly because of the low-priced wearables it offers, but still, according to IDC, it lacks the expertise and brand recognition to expand beyond its native borders in China.

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