Wearables Market Shows Strength
The wearables market continues to show strength. According to research firm IDC, shipment volumes of wearable devices increased 67 percent over the past year, with 19.7 million units shipped in the first quarter of 2016. "The wearables that we see today are several steps ahead of what we saw when this market began, increasingly taking their cues from form, function, and fashion. That keeps them relevant,” Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC, wrote in a note accompanying the firm’s data. “The downside is that it is becoming a crowded market, and not everyone is guaranteed success." FitBit topped the list of wearables vendors with the highest market-share (24.5 percent), followed by Xiaomi with 19 percent and Apple with 7.5 percent. Garmin came in fourth with 4.6 percent, trailed by Samsung in fifth with 3.6 percent. When you break out the wearables market into sub-categories, however, the numbers undergo some significant shifts. For example, Apple tops the list of smartwatch vendors, with a 46 percent share of that market last quarter; Samsung trailed with 20.9 percent, followed by Motorola with 10.9 percent and Huawei with 4.7 percent. “There's a clear bifurcation and growth within the wearables market,” Jitesh Ubrani, another IDC research analyst, also wrote in the note. “Smart watches attempt to offer holistic experiences by being everything to everyone, while basic wearables like fitness bands, connected clothing, or hearables have a focused approach and often offer specialized use cases.” So if you’re interested in building apps and features for smartwatches or other wearables, such as fitness bands, it’s clear that the market remains viable, despite some early predictors of its demise.