The market for wearable technology is getting much, much bigger -- and you can thank Apple.
A new report released Thursday by the International Data Corporation shows that 18.1 million wearable devices -- things like the Apple Watch and Fitbit bands -- were shipped between April and June this year. That's a 223.2 percent increase from the same time last year, when the IDC reported shipments of 5.6 million units.
That's not so surprising from a certain perspective -- the Apple Watch didn't exist during the same time last year. When Apple entered the market, it introduced millions of smartwatches, which obviously inflated the numbers.
"Anytime Apple enters a new market, not only does it draw attention to itself, but to the market as a whole," Ramon Llamas, a research manager at IDC, said in the firm's press release.
He's right, of course: The iPhone basically invented smartphone culture even if it followed the Blackberry, much as the iPod blew up the music industry even if it was far from the first MP3 player. The cult of Apple is strong.
That said, while shipments of the device are substantial, one could argue -- people certainly have -- that the Apple Watch isn't the same sort of revolutionary product. It's unclear what its ultimate impact will be.
Moreover, actual sales numbers for the Apple Watch remain elusive. Early estimates suggested its launch was bigger than the original iPhone's, and massive retail chain Best Buy has apparently been satisfied enough with sales to expand Apple Watch inventory to all of its stores nationwide.
The Apple Watch also seems to be smashing demand for classic timepieces, suggesting perhaps that smart devices really are the future for wrist wear.