With only a single product to its name, Apple has already taken the number two spot in the global wearables market, according to market analysts IDC. The agency's quarterly wearable report claims that Apple shipped a total of 3.6 million units in the second quarter of 2015, putting it just behind market leader Fitbit, shipping 4.4 million devices. These figures are only estimates of course, but if they're close to the truth then it's a sizable achievement for Apple. Not only is the Apple Watch the company's debut product in the market, but it's also so much more expensive than the competition.
Total shipments are up 223 percent
Apple's entry into the wearable market also boosted the industry as a whole, says the IDC, with total shipment volume up 223.2 percent from the same quarter last year to 18.1 million units. IDC's wearables research manager Ramon Llamas said that Apple's participation in the market not only draws attention to the product category as a whole, but also forces competitors to "re-evaluate their products and experiences." Given the glut of new wearables we're expecting to see at IFA in Berlin next month, this analysis certainly rings true.
The iPhone maker had the greatest impact in the "smart wearables" category (wearables capable of running third-party applications). The IDC says that roughly two out of three smart wearables shipped in the last quarter were Apple Watches. "Apple has clearly garnered an impressive lead in this space and its dominance is expected to continue," said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani.
Alongside Apple and Fitbit, the other big players in the market are Xiaomi (which launched its aggressively priced $13 fitness tracker last July), Garmin (which has focused on sophisticated fitness-trackers), and Samsung (which is set to unveil its redesigned Gear S2 soon). IDC's analysts, though, say that the industry's focus is mainly on Apple to see where the company will go next. "Everyone will be watching to see what other wearable devices it decides to launch, such as smart glasses or hearables," said Llamas. We wouldn't hold our breath for anything new anytime soon.