My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: IDC Stats for Wearables in Q1 2015 as Apple Watch to dominate Smartwatch segment by Q4 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

IDC Stats for Wearables in Q1 2015 as Apple Watch to dominate Smartwatch segment by Q4 2015

“What remains to be seen is how Apple's arrival will change the landscape. The Apple Watch will likely become the device that other wearables will be measured against, fairly or not. This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market”

Research Manager for IDC Wearables, Ramon Llamas, commenting on the performance of Wearable’s market in the First Quarter of 2015

Folks some amazing Stats from Analyst IDC are setting off alarms bell in the Mobile Computing World.

According to IDC, Wearables, a market that is made up of mostly fitness trackers and Smartwatches, has been growing strong for the past eight (8) Quarters including this First Quarter of 2015 as reported in the article “Shipments in wearable devices triple as prices dip”, published June 3, 2015 by Lance Whitney, CNET News

In total, some 11.4 million wearable devices were shipped worldwide, tripling the 3.8 million shipped in 2014.

Here's a quick summary of Wearables performance in the First Quarter of 2015:

1.      3.9 million shipments for Fitbit
2.      2.8 million shipments for the US$13 Mi Band fitness monitor from Xiaomi
3.      700,000 shipments for the Garmin Fitness Trackers
4.      600,000 shipments for the Samsung Gear line of Fitness Trackers
5.      500,000 shipments for the Jawbone line of Fitness Trackers

Please note that this is Wearables overall; Google Android Wear smartwatches only sole 720,000 for all of 2014 as noted in the article “Slow Android Wear sales underline the challenges Google's smartwatches face”, published Feb 12, 2015 By Mikael Ricknäs, IDG News Service, PC world and “Android Wear Sales Dim As Apple Watch Looms”, published 2/12/2015 by Eric Zeman, Information Week.

So it can be safely assumed that the bulk of the sales in the First Quarter of 2015 are mostly Fitness Trackers. But if that surprises you, take a second look at Xiaomi's performance based on IDC’s Stats.

The Chinese Dragon is poised to explode in the Wearables Market ever since they opened their online Mi Store for US, UK, German and French customers in May 2015 as reported in the article “Xiaomi To Sell Products In US And Europe Starting June 1st”, published May 27, 2015 by Matt Burns, Techcrunch.

IDC Stats for Wearables in the First Quarter of 2015 - Xiaomi No. 2 within a year as Fitness Tracker fall below US100

Shanghai, China-based Xiaomi accounts for some 25% of the sales in the First Quarter of 2015 as reported in the article “Report: Xiaomi Now World’s Second Biggest Seller Of Wearables Behind Only Fitbit”, published May 4 2015 by Jon Russell , TechCrunch and “Xiaomi Is The Second Biggest Wearable Seller In The World: IDC Report”, published June 5, 12:21 AM by Sumit Passary, Tech Times

The hit product is the high quality yet very low-cost US$13 Mi Band fitness monitor, which was introduced in the Summer of 2014 in China as noted in the article “Surprise! Xiaomi’s New Metal-Edged Flagship Looks Like An iPhone”, published July 22, 2014 by Natasha Lomas, Techcrunch.

Within a few month via the same rapid fire sales that has made other products like the US$65 Xiaomi Yi, an action camera competitor to the GoPro as detailed in my MICO Wars Blog article entitled “US$65 Xiaomi Yi is GoPro Competition on Xiaomi’s 5th Anniversary”, the US$13 Mi Band fitness monitor became a hit both within China and the rest of East and South Asia.

It has proven popular because it has a thirty (30) day battery life and is waterproof as noted in the article “Smartphone maker Xiaomi has grabbed a Quarter of the Wearables Market, published June 4, 2015 By Lulu Chang, DigitalTrends.
It's is even more astounding when you consider that fact that in the First Quarter of 2014, Xiaomi's presence in the Wearables market was non-existent based on the IDC Stats as indicated in the article “A $15 fitness tracker made by Xiaomi is the world’s second most popular wearable”, published June 04, 2015 by Josh Horwitz, Quartz . The Graph below illustrates this quit nicely.

It's presence as the 2nd most loved wearable is also causing severe price erosion in the Wearables market, with prices plummeting blow the US$100 mark, making it possible for even Jamaicans to afford a wearable as noted in the article “Xiaomi now world's second-biggest wearables maker”, published Thursday 4 June 2015 by Samuel Gibbs, The UK Guardian.

To quote Senior Research analyst for IDC Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers Jitesh Ubrani, it’s been a rough Quarter in a market that is still Growing Strong, quote: “As with any young market, price erosion has been quite drastic. We now see over 40% of the devices priced under $100, and that’s one reason why the top five vendors have been able to grow their dominance from two-thirds of the market in the first quarter of last year to three quarters this quarter.”

So expect to see this on sale in Downtown Kingston sometime soon, that is, if you are brave enough, as it still smells badly downtown as noted in my blog article entitled “KSAC and NWC and the Raw Sewage problem in Downtown Kingston – How to restore order by making Downtown safe for Vendors and Shoppers”.

Xiaomi to take lead by Q2 of 2015 - Apple Watch to dominate Smartwatch segment by Q4 2015

Don't believe me or your jaw is still on the ground? Then scope out this nice and very handy table as presented in the IDC Press Release for Wearables in the First Quarter of 2015.

Please note that this data is for the First Quarter of 2015.

The actual sales figures for the Apple Watch, which was delivered to those who ordered one on Friday April 25th 2015 as described in my blog article entitled “Apple Watch delays on Pre-Order Day – How to Sell a Wearable using Apple Watch Edition on Celebrities and Third Party Wristbands”, are not yet included in these Statistics. Still, with as Celebrity endorsement and customization options coming, analysts are expecting sales to be quite high.

But if estimates such as those made by Piper Jaffry Gene Munster and analysts Cowen and Co hold true, Fitbit and Xiaomi are in for a beating! Projections based on their estimates would put the uber-expensive Apple Watch in first place, as they estimated some 1 million pre-ordered Apple Watches as predicted in the article “All signs point to 1 million Apple Watch pre-orders, analysts say”, published April 13, 2015 by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

Even more interesting is that those estimates were for the weekend that the Apple Watch went on sale. A recently released report on Tuesday June 2nd 2015 from investment firm Global Equities Research indicates that Apple may have receive  some 7 million Apple Watch orders over that weekend as reported in the article “Watch is Apple's most successful product launch”, published june 2 2015 By Hope King, CNN Money.

However, due to component supply and shipping time constraints, they've only been able to fulfill some 2.5 million of those orders on since Friday 24th of April 2015. That’s STILL more than Garmin, Samsung and Jawbone combined for all of the First Quarter of 2015.

Albeit a financial rumour, if this is only half true, Apple would be set to trounce Fitbit and Xiaomi in the Wearables category overall with potential sales reaching as high as 10 million by Christmas 2015. It also indicates that I need to step up by game and start doing review articles about Wearables as they’ll be hot by Christmas 2015!

Can't wait for the Next IDC Report on Wearables for the Second and Third Quarters of 2015, as if it's that easy for Xiaomi to break into the American Fitness wearables market and Apple Watch official sales numbers are still unknown, then anything is possible this Summer of 2015!

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