Research

Apple nudges out Xiaomi to retake global wearables lead

Apple nudges out Xiaomi to retake global wearables lead

The report attributes part the success to the new Apple Watch Series 3, which hit global sales as high as 3.9 million. According to Canalys estimates, as many as 800,000 units of the Apple Watch shipped in Q3 were cellular-enabled.

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. Xiaomi and Fitbit trailed Apple with 3.6 and 3.5 million units, mostly consisting of fitness bands.

Overall the market for things-on-your-wrist-with-a-chip-in dipped 2 per cent, or 17.3 million units, in Q3, but Apple regained top spot, according to Canalys, thanks to the third generation Apple Watch. It also gave Apple 23 percent of the market, putting it fractionally ahead of the 21 percent for Xiaomi, the Chinese firm that was briefly top of the industry for the first time in the previous quarter. CCS Insight believes Apple could have sold more as Watch 3 only went on sale in the third week of September, about halfway through the Quarter, and supply was constrained. "The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch, or go for a quick errand without your phone, while staying connected, is a game changer", Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the recent earnings call.

Q3 is traditionally the year's weakest period for wearable sales - since many consumer hold off on large ticket items until the Christmas period - but Canalys said the top vendors were all up on the previous quarter.

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Incidentally, this is the very same quarter where Google, which makes the Android Wear smartwatch platform to rival the Apple Watch, has been completely silent on the future of its smart watches.

The analyst says the cellular LTE Apple Watch Series 3 has proved popular, with demand outstripping supplier and carriers surprised by the demand for the cellular Watch ... Service providers had underestimated demand for the new Apple Watch.

Canalys, a firm best known for its in-depth smartphones sales analyses, published a report on Tuesday that takes a long, hard look at the wearables market. Year to date, the stock is up over 49%, while in the last one-month, it is up over 10%.


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