Samsung's smartwatch business stagnated in 2016 as the Seoul-based consumer electronics manufacturer was overtaken by Fitbit over the course of last year, according to the latest study conducted by market research firm Canalys. While Samsung enjoyed the second largest share of the global smartwatch market in 2015, that spot has now been taken by Fitbit which accounts for 17 percent of the market, while Samsung came in third with a market share of 15 percent. Not surprisingly, Apple is still leading the global smartwatch race with a 49-percent market share. All of the other smartwatch manufacturers in the world hold less than one-fifth of the global smartwatch market, Canalys found. A visual representation of the current state of the global smartwatch market can be seen below.
Regardless of somewhat disappointing results, Samsung's wearables business will likely bounce back in the coming months as the South Korean tech giant is expected to increase shipments of the Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier, analysts said. Canalys also stated that shipments of Android Wear devices will make a major comeback once Google releases Android Wear 2.0. Given that state of affairs, it's reasonable to presume that Apple's dominance in this segment will start declining after the Cupertino-based company managed to grab nearly a half of the global smartwatch market with the Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Series 2. Regardless, Canalys isn't quick to jump to conclusions as the firm's analysts only said Apple's share of the market will be challenged in the following period.
While Xiaomi still doesn't hold a significant share of the global smartwatch market, the Chinese company is making some promising progress on that front, as the report suggests that the company managed to ship 5.5 million Mi Bands in Q4 2016. Xiaomi's Mi Band 2 is also said to be rather popular in regions like Eastern Europe, Russia, and India, meaning the company can expect to see more growth in this segment in the coming months. It remains to be seen how the smartwatch market will develop in the years ahead, especially in light of recent reports that manufacturers are preparing to make some major changes in an effort to drive sales and fuel additional growth.