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Apple's shipments of wearables continued to grow year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, but the company lost overall market share to smaller rivals, according to newly-published IDC data.

apple-watch-6s-202009.jpeg

Companies shipped a total of 104.6 million units in the first quarter of this year, marking a 34.4 percent increase from the 77.8 million units shipped at the same time last year. This is also the first time that first-quarter shipments have topped 100 million units worldwide.

While market leaders like Apple and Samsung maintained their lead during the quarter, most of the growth came from smaller companies like BoAt.
Apple started 2021 the same way it ended 2020: as the clear leader in the worldwide wearables market. Appetite for its smartwatches remained strong with the less expensive SE and Series 3 gaining further traction in the market while its earwear – inclusive of AirPods and Beats – showed sequential declines after reaching record levels in 4Q20.
Although Apple sold five million more wearables in the first quarter of 2021 and stayed the market leader, it lost 3.5 percent overall market share to competitors, most of which were much smaller.

idc-wearables-q1-2021.jpg

IDC wearables data includes both smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, and earwear, such as AirPods. Apple does not provide specific breakdowns of the number of Apple Watch and ‌AirPods‌ models shipped, so IDC's data is based on estimates.

During an earnings call earlier this, Apple said that wearables set a new revenue record in the first fiscal quarter of 2021. Apple's wearables business is now the size of a Fortune 120 company.

Article Link: Apple's Wearables Shipments Increasing, but Losing Market Share to Smaller Competitors
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
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I wouldn’t call the rest competitors, any more than I consider a fire tablet an iPad competitor. Apple probably faces more ”competition” from older generations of their products than anywhere else in the market.

In the end, there is no smartwatch market, only an apple watch market.
 
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jk1221

macrumors 6502
Feb 1, 2021
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2 issues- price and ecosystem.

There are only so many iPhone users. Anyone with Android is out until Apple lets the watch function without being tied to an iPhone.

And it is more expensive than many of those competitors. Not saying it's not worth the price for all it can do, but no one is going to jump through hoops to get an iPhone who doesnt have one, and then spend more on the watch too. Not when you can get a Mi Watch or other Chinese brand for like $150 US

I wouldn’t call the rest competitors, any more than I consider a fire tablet an iPad competitor. Apple probably faces more ”competition” from older generations of their products than anywhere else in the market.

In the end, there is no smartwatch market, only an apple watch market.

Samsung and Xiaomi are 1/4 the market. Not exactly true. Samsung sells a lot of watches and Tizen isnt bad. Now that Samsung is teaming with Google for wearables and the OS, that could even go up.

Not everyone needs apps on their wrists and want a basic smartwatch with some fitness stuff. Apple offering no lower more basic cheaper option, other than buy an older slower smaller display model, is their problem really (same with the Apple TV trying to compete with set top boxes)
 
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Dwalls90

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Feb 5, 2009
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Two things I really wanted to buy from Apple but didn't:
Apple Watch: poor battery life. Now I'm wearing a sport band which only needs to be charged twice a month
Homepod: poor connectivity.
To each their own, but I rather charge my watch every night with my iPhone, rather than getting to the middle of the month and having to charge it all day because I forgot to charge it. Until we get to year long battery life, once per day works for me.
 
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jaymc

macrumors 6502
Nov 10, 2012
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Think the difference is the "always on display" difference between WATCH 4 vs WATCH 5 than the differences between WATCH 5 and WATCH 6.
 
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nattK

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2014
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The Upside Down
Two things I really wanted to buy from Apple but didn't:
Apple Watch: poor battery life. Now I'm wearing a sport band which only needs to be charged twice a month
Homepod: poor connectivity.
An Apple Watch and a fitness tracker are two vastly different things. An Apple Watch has a shorter battery life because it tracks fitness among the many things it does (notifications, emails, texts, apps, etc) while a fitness tracker... is just a fitness tracker (which is why it has a longer battery life). However, if you're only interested in tracking fitness then yes, a fitness tracker from Fitbit is probably more suited to your needs than an Apple Watch.
 
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Remy149

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2016
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Two things I really wanted to buy from Apple but didn't:
Apple Watch: poor battery life. Now I'm wearing a sport band which only needs to be charged twice a month
Homepod: poor connectivity.
There are 2 full size homepods and 2 homepod minis in my house they all function without any issues and charging the watch once a day isn’t a big deal. Most people don’t even wear regular watch 24/7 so placing it on the charger everyone it’s not being worn isn’t a problem. When you consider the functionality of the Apple Watch vs the devices that have more battery life is almost incomparable
 
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redscull

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Jul 1, 2010
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Texas
I'm still wearing my Series 2. Nothing they've released since has been truly compelling to me even though I very much like my Apple Watch and use it every day for many tasks. In fact, the only thing that has even made me start to consider buying a new one is the fact they no longer support OS upgrades on my model. Since last year didn't get a hardware bump relative to the year prior, it doesn't feel future proofed enough to be an option. But I'm interested to see what the next iteration brings. Honestly all I want is a speed/memory boost (for future proofing OS upgrades) and faster charging. If I could get >23 hours of life off a <1 hr charge, that would be amazing.
 
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Shanghaichica

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Apr 8, 2013
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I wouldn’t call the rest competitors, any more than I consider a fire tablet an iPad competitor. Apple probably faces more ”competition” from older generations of their products than anywhere else in the market.

In the end, there is no smartwatch market, only an apple watch market.
I agree with this mostly. If you have an iPhone you are really shooting yourself in the foot by getting anything other than the Apple Watch as you will loose out on a lot of
Features if you get an android watch. Likewise if you own an android phone, buying an Apple Watch is pointless as it will be a virtual paperweight.
 
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Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,915
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The soggy side of the Pacific NW
Apple Watch: poor battery life. Now I'm wearing a sport band which only needs to be charged twice a month

I went the other way - wore a fitness band for a couple couple years, then switched to an Apple Watch.

For me, it turned out the notifications were a bigger deal than counting steps... plus the fitness bands I'd used (from Garmin and from Fitbit) didn't seem to last for more than a year. My first Apple Watch was still going strong after three years - I bought a new one, and my brother is happily using my old one.
 
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