Around 11.8 million units were shipped in the same quarter of last year, the report by research firm IDC said. "A combination of device releases, price reductions, and company rationalisations marked the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16) in the worldwide wearables market," it said.
The quarter saw its fair share of significant events to entice customers like post-holiday price reductions on multiple wearables, including Apple's Sport Watch and greater participation within emerging wearables categories, particularly clothing and footwear, it added.
"The good news is that the wearables market continues to mature and expand. 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," IDC research manager Wearables Ramon Llamas said.
The downside is that it is becoming a crowded market, and not everyone is guaranteed success, Llamas added. "Still, there are two areas where the market shows continued growth: smart watches and basic wearables (devices which do not run third-party applications)," IDC said.
Fitbit continued to top the tally with 4.8 million units and 24.5 per cent market share in the first quarter of 2016. This was followed by Xiaomi, Apple and Garmin with 19 per cent, 7.5 per cent and 4.6 per cent share of the market, respectively.
"There's a clear bifurcation and growth within the wearables market," IDC senior research analyst Mobile Device Trackers Jitesh Ubrani said. 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 specialised use cases, he said.
"The unique feature sets combined with substantial differences in price and performance sets each category apart, and leaves plenty of room for both to grow over the next few years," Ubrani said....