IDC: Apple Watch takes 20% of wearable device market, with 3.6m shipments last quarter

You probably won't be surprised to learn that Apple still hasn't announced any official sales figures for its Watch - but that doesn't mean there's no way to know how well the device is doing. The latest figures from industry analysts IDC have been published, which indicate an encouraging start for the Watch following its launch back in April.

IDC's figures show total global shipments of wearable devices among the top five vendors in this market segment, along with market share for each company, for the second quarter of this year, and the same quarter in 2014:

Despite going on sale a couple of weeks after Q2 2015 began, the Apple Watch nonetheless soared to second place in the wearables market by the end of the quarter, with 19.9% market share. Total shipments of the device were estimated to have reached 3.6 million units, not too far behind market leader Fitbit, on 4.4 million shipments and 24.3% share.

These are not official figures from the companies themselves, but estimates based upon available information, and extensive research and analysis by IDC. When it comes to making predictions about future sales, industry analysts are often hilariously wide of the mark - but when tracking past sales and shipments, firms such as IDC, Canalys, Gartner and the like tend to do much better, although the different methodologies that they use to gather data often means that the figures provided by different analysts don't always match up precisely.

But if we cautiously assume that IDC's figures are at least reasonably accurate, then it appears that the Apple Watch is off to a decent start. Reaching second place in the market with its debut device is no small feat, although it's worth bearing in mind that the market for such devices is itself pretty small - worldwide shipments across all vendors totalled just 18.1 million devices last quarter.

Indeed, it's also worth emphasizing that these figures relate specifically to shipments - i.e. manufacturers shifting stock to retailers and distributors - and not sales to end users. We'll need to wait for more data to be made available before we can fairly assess the device's consumer sales success, but for now, it looks like the Apple Watch has some solid foundations on which to build.

IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani shares the same opinion: "Apple has clearly garnered an impressive lead in this space and its dominance is expected to continue," he said.

Source: IDC (BusinessWire) via The Verge

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