According to estimates published by market research firm IDC, Apple sold 4.1 million Apple Watches in the fourth quarter of 2015. While that makes the Cupertino-based company the world’s no. 1 smartwatch vendor and the second-largest vendor of wearable devices in general, analysts widely considered the number a disappointment. As Apple devices make for popular Christmas gifts, the company typically sees its sales spike in the holiday quarter. Apple Watch sales increased by no more than 5 percent over the previous quarter, indicating that Apple’s smartwatch wasn’t among the most-wanted items this holiday season.
The opposite appears to have been the case for wearables market leader Fitbit. The company that specializes in fitness armbands considerably cheaper than most smartwatches saw shipments jump by more than 70 percent during the holiday quarter.
Despite consumers’ ongoing skepticism about the value added by smartwatches, the global wearables market grew by 172 percent in 2015. Fitbit, Apple and Co. shipped a total of 78.1 million devices in the past year, up from 28.8 million in 2014.