While wearable tech took a slight hit in the earlier quarters of 2016, the final quarter saw smartwatch and fitness bands return to their former glory.
In the fourth quarter of 2016, Fitbit took back its throne as the king of wearables, with Xiaomi going steady in second, followed by Apple, Garmin and Samsung. Total unit shipments for the quarter reached 33.9 million, while devices shipped reached 102.4 million for the entire 2016 year.
Shipments for the entire year reportedly grew 25 percent and by an interval for 16.9 percent year-over-year. However, the world’s top performer, Fitbit, found itself at a 22.7 percent drop in shipments year-over-year at the end of 2016. This represents quite a contrast to the 96.2 percent growth experienced by runner up Xiaomi.
Other competitors included Apple, which experienced 13 percent growth compared to last year, Garmin, which saw a decrease of four percent, Samsung, which saw shipments grow 37.9 percent, and a combination of other retailers which collectively experienced 32.1 percent.
A few main players in the space saw their market share decrease by the end of 2016. The most significant drop was that of Fitbit, which saw its share decrease from 26.8 percent to 22 percent in 2016. Closely behind was Apple, which saw its market share decrease from 14.2 percent to 10.7 percent in 2016.
It seems that the wearables market is becoming increasingly fragmented as non-traditional retailers enter the market in large numbers. It’s important to note that the numbers recorded for Fitbit in this report include the shipments of Pebble and Vector smartwatches, two companies the wearable manufacturer acquired in 2016.