Wearable Tech

Smartwatches surge in sales with Apple leading the way

According to the latest wearables report from IDC, advanced wearables like watches are finally coming into their own as mass market devices.

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The Apple Watch.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Slowly but surely, the watches are taking over.

With increased interest from the medical industry, and features like GPS and health tracking becoming standard on wearables, smartwatches are beginning to dominate the wearable technology market. 

According to the latest report from the International Data Corporation (IDC), wearable shipments over the past couple of months grew 10.3 percent year over year even though the market for basic wearables (those that do not run third party apps like most Fitbit trackers) declined 0.9 percent.

Smartwatches are booming, as that market grew 60.9 percent with Apple and the Apple Watch leading the way. The Apple Watch saw an impressive 49.7 percent year over year growth. And competition is growing in that field, with Fitbit planning their Ionic watch for an October release, Samsung unveiling their Gear Sport watch on Wednesday and Google teaming up with fashion designers to spice up watches running their Android Wear software.

Ramon Llamas, the research manager for IDC's wearables team, attributed the change to specialized features like advanced medical tracking. "Smartwatches recorded double-digit year-over-year growth, with much of that increase attributable to a growing number of models aimed at specific market segments," he said. "These products are offering solutions to problems other than simply reporting data, and gaining traction."

Apple declined CNET's request for comment.