Wearables have been touted the next big thing for a couple of years and the prediction hasn’t completely come true. But the Wearables race has managed to charm the OEMs so much so that every smartphone manufacturer wants to herald with their own offering. If my memory serves me right, before the actual advent of wearables it was a few local Chinese companies who started off the wearables revolution with something that they called mobile watches, very crude yet functional.
The wearables scene currently has taken a paradigm shift and Apple Watch has been at the center of it. The Cupertino folks yet again managed to carve a place by positioning themselves as a manufacturer that will cater to the “Premium” requirements of the buyers, especially with the $17,000 top end Apple Watch Edition. On the other hand, Fitbit, Garmin, Goqii, Jawbone and Misfit are tailor made to suit the fitness needs rather than bringing the notifications and apps on the wearables. Pebble is another wearable that differs from others with an e-ink display and integration with most of the third party apps.
Now this makes us wonder at the sales statistics of these companies and the Year-on-Year growth. According to the IDC stats for Q3 2015, total number of wearables shipped stand at 21 Million, translating in to a Y-o-Y growth of 197.6 percent. FitBit tops the chart with a total sale of 4.7 Million units and a growth of 101.7% trail blazed by Apple which has sold 3.9 Million and clung to the second position. Xiaomi and Garmin have achieved a sale of 3.7 Million and 0.9 Million respectively. Interestingly, Xiaomi had a staggering 815% growth over last year!
Deducing the charts, FitBit seems to rule the roost as it has been a favorite (the Surge models) with the fitness enthusiasts and the folks who want to switch to a healthy lifestyle. Apple has a rather uncanny ability to create a hype around its product and it usually does live up to the expectations, the Apple Watch is no exception here. Apple has been scoring the sales with its Sports lineup which is the entry level Watch. There are no points for guessing how Xiaomi has been selling so well the answer to which is of course the uber affordable price tags the Mi Band (and Mi Band Pulse) comes with. Garmin has been a pioneer in navigation devices and it has squeezed in its expertise in a watch thus catering a niche. It is surprising to see XTC, a subsidiary of BBK beat Samsung by a 100,000 units and the company achieved this by laser focusing on the Chinese market unlike other manufacturers who tried to sell their wares across the Chinese borders.
Although the other manufacturers account for a 7.3-Million units in sale, the fact is that Android Wearables have not exactly picked up the pace. This sluggishness can be attributed to the initial stint of buggy Android Wear software or the very fact that Android Wear took its own time to evolve, and not to mention that the cost isn’t really considered as affordable yet.