Even with Apple Watch 7 shipments slipping into Q4, Apple remained the Wearables Market Champ by more than Tripling Samsung Shipments
A new analytical report by IDC states that global shipments for wearables grew 9.9% during the third quarter of 2021 (3Q21) reaching 138.4 million units. Hearables led the growth as the category grew 26.5% compared to last year and accounted for 64.7% of wearable device shipments. Following hearables were wrist-worn wearables, the category most often associated with health and fitness tracking, which captured 34.7% of the market.
IDC noted that Apple captured the top position in 3Q21. They're position in the market is enviable as the company grabbed over 53% of the dollar value share in this market despite a 35.3% decline in Apple Watch shipments during the quarter.
However, IDC didn't mention that the new Apple Watch 7 didn't ship in Q3 when it was announced. Pre-orders only opened on October 8, with shipments beginning on October 15. Meaning, Apple's decline of 35.3% was only due to the company being unable to ship the new watch in Q3 on time. Apple's wearable statistics will take a significant leap in Q4 reflecting both Apple Watch 7 and next-gen AirPods shipments.
IDC added that "Hearables from AirPods and Beats have helped the company cement its leadership in the wearables market. Apple's hearables are facing challenges in recent quarters as competition in the hearables segment remains strong.
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Although the pandemic has driven interest in health and fitness tracking, wrist-worn wearables such as watches and wristbands faced challenges during the quarter as these devices were not immune to the supply constraints and shifting demand brought about by the pandemic. While the category has recently been led by Xiaomi's low-cost bands, the company was dethroned by Apple and Huawei in 3Q21 as they tied for first place in the wrist-worn segment.
Samsung's recent launch of the Galaxy Watch 4 Series has been well received and is a significant step forward for the watch maker and Google, thanks to the move from Tizen to Wear OS. Not only has Samsung focused on growing its wearables business by bundling its hearables, watches, and bands with smartphones, but the company is also attempting to steal wallet share from fashion spending with the launch of bespoke edition watches."