American market research firm IDC released a report on Wednesday, which said that 27.4 million devices were shipped worldwide during the fourth quarter of 2015, a 126.9% year-on-year growth. Xiaomi shipped the third most wearable devices globally.
“Triple-digit growth highlights growing interest in the wearables market from both end-users and vendors,” noted Ramon Llamas, Research Manager for IDC’s Wearables team. “It shows that wearables are not just for the technophiles and early adopters; wearables can exist and are welcome in the mass market.”
According to IDC’s Q4 report, Fitbit dominated the market with 8.1 million shipments. Apple trailed the champion by four million, less than half of Fitbit shipments. Xiaomi came in third with 2.7 million and was the only Chinese company among the top five vendors.
Xiaomi’s explosive growth rate topped the global market with 258.5% year-on-year growth, overshadowing the growth rates of the other vendors in the top five, except for Apple, whose data was not available. Accordingly, Xiaomi’s market share rose from 6.2% to 9.7%, while its rivals witnessed different degrees of decrease.
In terms of annual growth, global shipments in 2015 totaled 78.1 million with 171.6% year-on-year growth. Fitbit still ranked first with 21 million shipments and a market share of 26.9%, but this is a considerable drop compared to its 37.9% market share in 2014. This is partially because Xiaomi’s large market share rose from 4.0% to 15.4%. Xiaomi’s year-on-year growth reached an astonishing 951.8%, helping it rise to second place with 12 million shipments, slightly more than Apple’s 11.6 million. Apple held 14.9% of the market share in 2015.
Xiaomi focuses on producing inexpensive fitness bands for as low as RMB 72 (USD 11), which are mostly consumed by Chinese customers. This allowed Xiaomi to have the largest year-over-year growth rate. Xiaomi’s latest device, the Mi Band Pulse, which sells for RMB 99, contains a new heart rate monitoring function. “This puts the company on a more even playing field with other vendors, but not enough to stand out against the crowded market,” said the report.
(Top photo from Baidu images.)