The wearables segment encompasses everything from smartwatches and fitness bands to true wireless earphones, and in the first quarter of 2021 demand continued to climb across the continent of Europe.
Apple continued to dominate with AirPods and the Apple Watch
IDC reports that European wearable shipments reached 22 million units in the first three months of 2021, up an impressive 33% compared with the same period in 2020 when 16.5 million devices were shipped.Apple continued to lead the market with 7.8 million shipments across Europe and a market share of 35.6% between January and March. A year earlier, the brand shipped 5 million devices and accounted for 30% of the total.The Cupertino-based giant’s better performance was largely down to the smartwatch market, where the more affordable Watch SE and Watch Series 3 performed extremely well among both first-time and returning buyers.
Samsung also reported strong growth
Samsung followed in second place with 3.5 million shipments across Europe during the first quarter, up 27.2% year-on-year. Despite the strong growth, though, Samsung’s market share decreased a little from 16.8% to 16.1%.IDC didn’t detail Samsung’s performance throughout the quarter. But its successful lineup of smartwatches coupled with the new Galaxy Buds Pro undoubtedly played an important role. With the upcoming Wear platform and Galaxy Watch 4 series, as well as the rumored Galaxy Buds 2, Samsung is in a strong position to further increase its shipments in the second half of 2021.
The European fitness bands market isn’t growing, so Xiaomi struggled
Xiaomi followed in third place with 2.5 million shipments, though the brand is starting to struggle. That’s unlike the European smartphone market, where the brand is reporting strong growth every quarter following Huawei’s exit.The company’s shipments for the quarter were actually down from 2.6 million units a year earlier, which subsequently lowered its market share from 15.7% to 11.5% in the first quarter of 2021. Once again, IDC provided no details about the brand’s European performance. But the numbers ultimately suggest that Xiaomi is too reliant on the Mi Band lineup of fitness trackers right now.Xiaomi has launched some wireless earbuds and smartwatches, but they haven’t been as successful as Apple and Samsung’s entries. Perhaps more worryingly is the fact that IDC forecasts under 2% growth for the fitness band category over the next five years.