The global wearable band market grew nearly 6 per cent year-on-year in Q2, boosted by a shift from basic units to higher-end smartwatches, as vendors move to enhance user experience and battery life, Canalys reported.
The analytics company estimated the wearable band market, which includes smartwatches and basic bands like fitness trackers, hit 40.9 million units, up 5.6 per cent on Q2 2020.
Canalys divides smartwatches into basic models running a rudimentary OS and devices featuring a full platform capable of running third-party apps. Across both categories, shipments grew nearly 38 per cent to 25.4 million, or 62 per cent of the total.
Apple accounted for 31.1 per cent of smartwatch shipments, on 7.9 million units, followed by Huawei (2.3 million) and Garmin (1.9 million).
Shipments of basic bands declined 23.8 per cent to 15.5 million units. Xiaomi dominated the segment, shipping 8 million fitness bands, followed by Apple (7.9 million).
Canalys predicted smartwatches will continue driving the wearable band category in the coming years as vendors increase efforts in the segment.
“To stand out, they are improving the fundamentals, such as user experience and battery life, creating their own distinct UIs and leveraging their respective ecosystems to draw out new and unique use cases”, research manager Jason Low explained in a statement.
He described health-tracking features as the most important element going forward, and called for vendors to invest in next-generation sensors and algorithms to guarantee accuracy and reliability.