Xiaomi topples Fitbit and Apple as world's largest wearables vendor: Strategy Analytics

Xiaomi has topped the wearable vendor ranks for the first time, shipping 3.7 million units in the second quarter of 2017.
Written by Tas Bindi, Contributor

Chinese technology giant Xiaomi has dethroned Fitbit and Apple as the world's largest wearable vendor, according to a recent report from research firm Strategy Analytics.

Xiaomi captured 17.1 percent market share in the second quarter of 2017, shipping 3.7 million wearable units, up from 3 million shipments and 15 percent market share in the previous corresponding quarter in 2016.

"Xiaomi's Mi Band fitness trackers are wildly popular in China, due to their highly competitive pricing and rich features such as heart-rate monitors, step-counters, and calendar alerts," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement.

Fitbit slid from 28.5 percent market share to 15.7 percent over the year, with shipments dropping from 5.7 million in Q2 2016 to 3.4 million last quarter.

"Fitbit is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between the low-end fitness bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smartwatches sold by Apple," Mawston said.

Apple increased its market share from 9 percent in Q2 2016 to 13 percent last quarter, with shipments growing 56 percent over the year from 1.8 million to 2.8 million.

"Apple has for now lost its wearables leadership to Xiaomi, due to a lack of presence in the sizeable fitness band subcategory," said Cliff Raskind, director at Strategy Analytics.

Raskin added that the rumoured imminent launch of Watch Series 3 with enhanced health tracking could push Apple to the top spot later this year.

From April to June, wearable shipments increased 8 percent to 21.6 million, compared to 20 million in the previous corresponding quarter.

"Strong demand for low-cost fitness bands in China and premium smartwatches across the United States drove the uptick," said Steven Waltzer, industry analyst at Strategy Analytics.

Xiaomi also shipped 23.16 million handsets in Q2 2017, up 70 percent over the previous quarter, which is also a record-high in terms of quarterly shipments, according to the company's founder and CEO Lei Jun.

The Chinese technology giant is now targeting shipments of more than 100 million smartphones for 2018.

In July, Lei said Xiaomi has regained growth momentum after two years of "adjustments" following severe output constraints. It was the biggest challenge the company has ever confronted since its establishment, but shipments in the previous quarter indicates that its production capacity is now gradually improving, he added.

The company is also pushing forward its offline retail strategy and international expansion after securing a three-year $1 billion loan from a syndicate of 18 banks.

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