The launch of the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2 has successfully overturned the free fall of Apple Watch shipments, according to the latest report from the International Data Corporation (IDC). During the holiday quarter, Apple shipped 4.6 million Watch units the market research firm estimates, ranking third in the top five wearable device vendors list compiled by IDC.
That compares to the 4.1 million units estimated for the same period a year ago, which secured Apple a 14.1% global market share. Last year, however, with the growth of the wearables market, Apple’s share shrank to 13.6%. One surprise, though, is Xiaomi, which has seen a tremendous 96.2% increase in shipments compared to Q4 2015, the IDC data reveals. Xiaomi shipped 5.2 million wearable devices, which secured second place in the top five list, and 15.2% of the global market. Samsung ranked fifth on the list with 1.9 million units shipped in Q4 2016.
Apple’s strategy of introducing a lower entry-price point and including GPS in the Series 2 Watch along with an improved user interface has helped the company grow its presence, IDC says. “Apple is one of the few companies that has been able to quickly refocus its watch to gain traction in the consumer market and has also been leading the charge to introduce the smartwatch category to the commercial segment”, the report reads.
With 4.6 million Watch units shipped in the holiday quarter, Apple shipped a total of 10.7 million units in the full year of 2016, down 7.9% compared to 2015, when the Apple Watch was introduced. That year, Apple shipped 11.6 million units, according to IDC’s estimate. Apple, however, doesn’t disclose Watch sales numbers.
Overall, the wearables market reached a new all-time high as shipments reached 33.9 million units in the holiday quarter of 2016, up 16.9% year-over-year, IDC notes. The year came close to 102.4 million devices shipped.