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. Specifically, it highlights the top five smartwatch and fitness brands of 2017’s third fiscal quarter, including Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei.
Apple sold the most smartwatches of any company in the second half of this 2017, according to Canalys, reclaiming its spot as the top wearables vendor and posting its strongest quarter this year so far. The report attributes part the success to the new Apple Watch Series 3, which hit global sales as high as 3.9 million. “Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers’ doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers,” Canalys Analyst Jason Low said.
The only thing holding Apple back was limited availability in some markets, Canalysis said. “In China, [for example,] customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country.” Mr. Low said.
Xiaomi came in second place during Q3 2017, securing 21 percent of the total wearable market and shipping 3.6 million units. Fitbit came in third, with 20 percent of the total market and 3.5 million unit sales.
Both Xiaomi and Fitbit increased shipments compared to Q2, but both have a long way to go before they catch up to the competition. Huawei nabbed a fourth-place spot with 6 percent of the total wearable shipments, while Samsung held steady at 5 percent.
Despite the gains, overall wearable sales dropped by 2 percent in Q3 year-over-year to 17.3 million in unit sales. But Canalys is expecting a “stronger” fourth quarter as vendors roll out “improved health-tracking features,” “longer battery life,” and “better and slimmer designs.”
“While health features continue to be the core focus, vendors are striving to increase the value of smartwatches by prioritizing design and highlighting key features,” Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia said.
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