Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) has released wearables market report for the third quarter of the year 2021 (Q3-2021). The report has both good and bad news for Cupertino giant Apple. Apple and Huawei dethroned Xiaomi during the quarter as they tied up for first place in the wrist-worn segment.
However, while Apple managed to get the top spot, the shipments of Apple Watch saw a steep decline. Apple captured the top position during Q3-2021 despite a 35.3% decline in Apple Watch shipments during the quarter. The company seems to be facing tough competition from Samsung in the premium segment. Samsung’s latest offering Galaxy Watch 4, the first Android exclusive watch from the company, is reportedly doing well in the market. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is also the first watch to launch after Samsung and Google announced partenership for smartwatches in May this year. With Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung makes the move from its Tizen to Google’s Wear OS. According to IDC report, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 Series has been well received. Incidentally, while Samsung’s 2021 flagship smartwatch Galaxy Watch 4 went on sale in thelast week of August, Apple Watch Series 7, the 2021 model, hit retail shelves globally in mid-October.
What brings good news for Apple
So, wondering what brings good news for Apple in the wearables segment? It’s the Hearables from AirPods and Beats. “Hearables from AirPods and Beats have helped the company cement its leadership in the wearables market although these products have also faced challenges in recent quarters as competition in the hearables segment remains strong,” says IDC. Also, despite the challenges, Apple grabbed over 53% of the dollar value share in this market.
Who are the other four companies in the top 5
Apple leads the wearables market and is followed by Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei and India’s Boat (Imagine Marketing) in the very same order. Boat once again found its way into the global top 5. “Relentless marketing and low-cost products have helped drive volume. In recent quarters, the company has also launched watches, which now account for 10% of its shipments,” says the report.
As for Xiaomi losing the top spot in the global smartwatch market, Jitesh Ubrani, research manager for IDC Mobility and Consumer Device Trackers, says, “Demand has been slowly shifting away from wristbands towards watches as consumers increasingly want a more capable device and as the gap in pricing narrows.” He adds, “The number of watches sold for under $100 is now equal to wristbands, which have dominated this price band in the past. Growth amongst Indian and Chinese brands has been leading the low-end watch space while Apple, Huawei, and Samsung maintain a hold at the high-end.”