Apple’s debut in the wearables market was strong: it grabbed the second spot on the top-five vendor list and the No. 1 position among all smart wearable (devices capable of running third-party apps) manufacturers. This didn’t change much during the third calendar quarter: Apple maintained its second position with an estimated 3.9 million Watch unit sales — up from the 3.6 million units estimated in the second quarter — according to data from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker.
As the above number shows, Apple posted a slight increase in Watch sales in the three-month period between June and September. According to IDC, consumers turned their attention to the entry-level Sport model, a demand Apple responded to by releasing the gold and rose gold version.
The No. 1 wearable vendor remains Fitbit, IDC estimates, with 4.7 million units shipped, while Apple is followed closely by Xiaomi with 3.7 million units (that’s a stunning 815% increase year-over-year, as the company shipped only 0.4 million devices last year).
“The early stages of the wearables market have led to tight competition among the leading vendors, and Chinese vendors have seized upon market momentum to grab market share,” noted Ramon Llamas , Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “China has quickly emerged as the fastest-growing wearables market, attracting companies eager to compete on price and feature sets. In addition, multiple vendors have experimented with a broad range of products and applications. The challenge, however, is whether these vendors can expand their presence, as few have extended beyond the country’s borders and into other markets.”
IDC estimates that total shipment volume in the quarter reached 21 million wearables, up 197.6% from the 7.1 million units shipped during the same period a year prior.