SALES OF WEARABLE DEVICES have soared worldwide, the latest report from analyst house IDC has revealed.
Continuing an "upward trajectory", the wearables market reached new records in shipment volumes for both the fourth quarter (4Q17) and the full year 2017, the firm's Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker claimed.
"Total volumes for the quarter reached 37.9 million units, up 7.7 per cent from the 35.2 million units shipped in the same quarter a year ago," the report stated. "For the full year, total wearable device shipments reached 115.4 million units, up 10.3 per cent from the 104.6 million units shipped in 2016."
And thanks to a surge in smartwatch shipment volumes, Apple moved past competitors Fitbit and Xiaomi to claim overall leadership for both the quarter and the year, the report stated.
However, the 10.3 per cent year-over-year growth in 2017 marked a decline from the 27.3 per cent growth seen in the same period for 2016, IDC noted.
Ramon T. Llamas, research director for IDC's Wearables team, said the slowdown is not due to a lack of interest, but instead, because "we saw numerous vendors, relying on older models, exit the market altogether".
He added that the remaining vendors - including multiple start-ups - have not only replaced them, but with devices, features, and services that have helped make wearables "more integral in people's lives".
"Going forward, the next generation of wearables will make the ones we saw as recently as 2016 look quaint," he said.
IDC also pointed out that prices for individual products have slowly declined, with consumer preferences shifting to more sophisticated devices and towards well-recognised brands.
"It's due to this that the wearables market has seen healthy double-digit growth in average selling prices since 2016," added the firm's senior research analyst, Jitesh Ubrani.
"Combined with the potential to sell added software and services, wearables are proving to be an increasingly lucrative market for brands and service providers." µ
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