Apple nudges out Xiaomi to retake global wearables lead

Cesar Mills
November 15, 2017

Knowing the success of the Apple Watch ahead of time, it's no wonder that a new Canalys report published today states that "Apple has retaken the lead in the wearable band market in Q3 2017, with shipments of 3.9 million". Of those, 800,000 were likely Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular units. Xiaomi and Fitbit trailed Apple with 3.6 and 3.5 million units, mostly consisting of fitness bands. Still, their performance was better than average in the sluggish Q3, according to Canalys, where business has historically been slower. Compared to their most recent flagship smartphones, sales figures correspond to approximately one smartwatch sold for every seven iPhone 7/8-series models at Apple, one smartwatch sold for every 14 flagship P and Mate smartphones for Huawei, and one smartwatch sold for every 23 flagship Galaxy smartphones for Samsung.

Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially risky situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply.

Apple is once again the biggest selling producer of wearables after its third-generation Apple Watch, released in September, helped it pip China's Xiaomi to the post. This meant overall wearable market shipments declined 2% to 17.3 million units, in what is traditionally a slow quarter as consumer hold off on purchases until the Christmas period. Sales would have been even stronger if retailers had not underestimated demand. The third generation device had a significant impact on sales despite being launched just 10 days before the end of the quarter.

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The Mac maker uses a unique definition for wearables and includes wireless headphones like AirPods and BeatsX as well as Apple Watch. The final entry in the top 5 is Samsung with 5% of the market.

Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple.

Other reports by GizPress

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