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Chinese vendors storm worldwide wearables market

However, Fitbit and Apple lead the charge with its wrist-mounted devices

smartwatch

Although Fitbit and Apple topped IDC's Worldwide Wearables charts, Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and BBK gave the better-known American manufacturers a run for their money.

Fitbit's market share accounted for 22.2 per cent of the market in the third quarter of 2015, while Apple followed closely behind with 18.6 per cent, showing strong interest in the Apple Watch in the year of launch.

Fitbit has the advantage in the wearables market because the brand sells more than one product in the space and has been selling its Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Surge for longer than Apple has been selling Apple Watch.

However, Chinese manufacturers Xiaomi and BBK, alongside Garmin, are gaining momentum, with the three vendors taking 17.4 per cent, 3.1 per cent and 4.1 per cent of the market respectively.

"The early stages of the wearables market have led to tight competition among the leading vendors, and Chinese vendors have seized upon market momentum to grab market share," noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC's Wearables team.

He explained the reason for Asian manufacturers rising through the ranks is because wearables are becoming increasingly popular in China especially, where customers are more likely to buy a local brand.

"China has quickly emerged as the fastest-growing wearables market, attracting companies eager to compete on price and feature sets. In addition, multiple vendors have experimented with a broad range of products and applications. The challenge, however, is whether these vendors can expand their presence, as few have extended beyond the country's borders and into other markets."

IDC is predicting that more niche players will start to enter the market in the coming months, especially as cost becomes a bigger factor in customer buying decisions.

"The bifurcation doesn't just exist in features, but also in price," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers. "The average smart watch or band came in at just over $400 and the average basic watch band at $94. This leaves a lot of room for new players like Fossil and niche players like Pebble as they have an opportunity to address this space."

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