Xiaomi leads the way in wearables, says Strategy Analytics

Xiaomi secured top spot as the largest wearables vendor for the first time in the second quarter of 2017, according to new figures from Strategy Analytics.

The Chinese firm shipped 3.7 million units, capturing 17% of the marketshare, overtaking Fitbit (3.4m) and Apple (2.8m) into second and third place respectively. Overall sales grew 8% to 21.6 million in Q217, from 20 million this time last year.

The figures make for an interesting comparison with long-time wearable watchers IDC, whose most recent stats, from June, put Xiaomi and Apple pretty much neck and neck. Xiaomi came out slightly on top with 14.7% market share compared to 14.6% for Apple, yet IDC declares a statistical tie if the results are that close.

As expected, Fitbit was the biggest loser year on year, going from 5.7 million sales in Q216. Strategy Analytics said the company is at risk of being ‘trapped in a pincer movement’, with the lower and higher ends of the market being taken care of by Xiaomi and Apple respectively.

Regardless, this makes for an intriguing situation between the three leading vendors.

Strategy argues that Apple could easily take the mantle back from Xiaomi in the coming quarters. “Apple shipped 2.8 million wearables worldwide in Q2 2017, growing 58% annually from 1.8 million in Q2 2016,” said director Cliff Raskind. “However, the rumoured upcoming Watch Series 3 launch with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smartwatch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year.”

Investors have also renewed their interest in Fitbit in recent days, following the company’s admission that its smartwatch is set to become available for the holiday season. The company posted revenue above guidance at $353 million for the most recent quarter.

“Together, our brand, community and data connect in a virtuous circle,” said James Park, Fitbit CEO in a call with analysts, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “Our brand and engaged community enables us to be the wearable of choice for both consumers and health ecosystem players, enabling us to capture more data and to produce better algorithms and software innovations, in turn positioning us to drive better health outcomes, and by default lower medical costs.”

Picture credit: Xiaomi

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