Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Apple Watch retakes lead of wearables market, Xiaomi second

Apple Watch retakes lead of wearables market, Xiaomi second

Well that didn't last long. It posted its strongest quarter so far in 2017, thanks to the release of the Apple Watch Series 3.

Canalys estimates that about 800,000 of the 3.9 million Apple Watch units sold in the third quarter were the LTE model. Plus, more than one in five of the Apple Watch devices sold was apparently a cellular model (4G).

Canalys Analyst Jason Low stated for the report that "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers".

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Apple's competitors, Xiaomi and Fitbit, trailed behind in Q3, shipping 3.6 million and 3.5 million wearables, respectively. Besides bringing in more stock, operators should work on improving their remote service provisioning systems to cater for the expected higher demand in Q4. It may have dipped in the middle, but Apple grabbed the top spot in the first quarter of the year for the first time since Q3 2015. Tim Cook noted that "With unit growth of over 50% for the third consecutive quarter, it continues to be the best selling and most loved smartwatch in the world". 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.

Smartphone makers Huawei and Samsung also make their own series of smartwatches, some of which are created to rival the Apple Watch, but have had to contend with 6% and 5% share, respectively.

Overall this is positive news for the market. Their increase in third quarter shipments was, however, more than offset by slowing demand for fitness trackers. Fourth quarter performance will be crucial to assess consumers' reaction toward the emerging trend of fashionable smartwatches that prioritise form rather than function. "Google must show stronger commitment to help Android Wear vendors, which are now mostly watchmakers and fashion brands, to further improve the user experience and app ecosystem". Huawei nabbed a fourth-place spot with 6 percent of the total wearable shipments, while Samsung held steady at 5 percent.

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