Practically every major consumer electronics company has launched a smartwatch, fitness tracker, or some other sort of wearable gadget in the past year or two. Some high-end watch makers are even starting to get in on the action.

But are people actually buying these wearables? Maybe. But companies are certainly shipping them: IDC says 21 million wearables were moved in the third quarter of 2015.


That’s up from 7.1 million devices shipped during the same period in 2014, for an increase of nearly 200 percent.

This was also the first full quarter since Apple released its first wearable device. IDC says the Apple Watch was popular enough to rocket to the number two position in the charts.

Interestingly, most of the other companies in IDC’s top 5 list are shipping fitness trackers rather than smartwatches. The number one spot was claimed by Fitbit, which offers a variety of activity-tracking wristbands and clip-on devices. Xiaomi came in third place, thanks to the company’s low-cost Mi Band bracelet with fitness tracking features.

GPS and fitness device maker Garmin took the fourth slot, although it was a distant fourth, and Chinese company XTC, which is a subsidiary of BBK, came in fifth.

Noticeably absent from the list? Samsung, Motorola, LG, Asus, Pebble or any other companies that have been pushing smartwatches. IDC notes that the growing number of smartwatch options doesn’t seem to have slowed the growth in the fitness tracker segment. Fitbit, for example, shipped about twice as many units in Q3, 2015 as in Q3, 2014.

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4 replies on “Report: Wearable shipments have tripled”

  1. Which is the accessory, which is Ken and which is Barbie? Are smart watch features becoming an app on fitness trackers or will fitness tracking become a standard function on all smart watches?

  2. I am expecting an apple fitbit with applepay for $100. It would be less profit than the watch, but would increase their applepay user base.

    1. They could actually give the Shuffle line some much needed purpose again by adding some pedometer functions and Apple Pay.

    2. Having a mobile payment system attached to your wrist makes more sense than having it part of your phone. As part of the phone it’s not much (any?) more convenient than just grabbing a card out of your wallet.

      Still, I need a compelling reason to once again have something attached to my wrist, and a smartwatch even with mobile pay is not that reason. I suspect that’s why sales have “only” increased 200% in a relatively new market. That’s not a good figure.

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