Research firm says Apple Watch emerging as competitive threat to wearable leader FitBit

A new report estimates Apple shipped 3.6 million watches in the last quarter — more than some analysts have estimated and enough to change the competitive landscape for fitness bands and other wearable gadgets.

According to analysts at International Data Corp, Apple shipped enough units of its new smartwatch to nearly overtake market leader FitBit in the last quarter. Their report says traditional fitness bands may lose popularity to smartwatches and other devices that offer more features.

Since its introduction this spring, industry experts have debated how successful the new Apple Watch will be. Apple has not revealed how many watches it has sold, and some analysts have concluded consumer interest is lukewarm. IDC says its estimates are based on Apple's financial reports and interviews with suppliers, distributors and consumers.