IT&Software

Apple challenges Xiaomi and Samsung in wearable market

Apple challenges Xiaomi and Samsung in wearable market

Xiaomi is the leader in the wearable space, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quaterly Wearable Device Tracker. Fitbit is down, but overall shipments are up, leading to Apple and Xiaomi taking equal first place.

Apple was already dominating the smartwatch market and this gave the Cupertino giant another opportunity to maintain a sustained demand for Apple Watches. The smartphone and wearables maker, which concentrates nearly exclusively on the Chinese market (96% of its Q1 shipments stayed within China), has benefitted greatly from bundling its devices - mostly cheap fitness tracking wristbands - with smartphones to entire consumers.

It was a big win in general for wearables, with a year-on-year industry growth of 17.9 percent - shipments went from 20.9 million last year during the same time period to 24.7 million this year. IDC estimated Xiaomi's worldwide wearables market share at 14.7%, with Apple at 14.6%. "Companies are focused on seeding wearables into the market", he said. The Chinese company shipped 3.6 million units in Q1 2017, grabbing the market share of 14.7 per cent ahead of Apple's 14. While the San Francisco-based company believes there is still a market for fitness trackers, it is shifting its resources to develop a true smartwatch, which it expects to release later in 2017.

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Garmin took the fifth position with shipments totaling 1.1 million units, accounting for 4.6% of global shipments, IDC said. The key to this was the addition of Vivo- and Fenix-branded smartwatches that address citizen athletes and outdoors enthusiasts with third party applications beyond health and fitness.

"The second phase of development will be all about putting user data to good use", continued Ubrani.

IDC Senior Research Analyst Jitesh Ubrani said the market was now focusing on getting consumers accustomed to wearing a device, but would later move onto "putting user data to good use" through healthcare and productivity applications. Ubrani predicted that future wearables will "augment our abilities and make our lives easier or more productive rather than just being another screen we keep an eye on".


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