Apple’s wearable device shipments continued to grow year on year in the first quarter of 2021, but the company lost overall market share to its smaller competitors, according to recently released IDC data.
Companies shipped a total of 104.6 million units in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 34.4% from the 77.8 million units shipped in the same period last year . It is also the first time that first quarter shipments have exceeded 100 million units worldwide.
While market leaders like Apple and Samsung maintained their lead during the quarter, most of the growth came from smaller companies like BoAt.
Apple started 2021 the same way it ended 2020: as the clear leader in the global wearable device market. Appetite for its smartwatches remained strong, with the cheaper SE and Series 3 gaining ground in the market, while its ear protectors – including AirPods and Beats – posted sequential declines after hitting levels. records in 4Q20.
Although Apple sold an additional five million wearable devices in the first quarter of 2021 and remained the market leader, it lost 3.5% overall market share to its competitors, most of which were much smaller.
IDC data on portable devices includes both smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, and headphones, such as “AirPods”. Apple does not provide a specific breakdown of the number of Apple Watch and “AirPods” models shipped, so IDC’s data is based on estimates.
In an earlier earnings call, Apple said wearable devices set a new revenue record in fiscal first quarter 2021. Apple’s wearable business now is the size of a Fortune company 120.