A recent market survey conducted by Strategy Analytics reveals that Apple was the leading wearable manufacturer in the world in Q1 2017, surpassing both Xiaomi and Fitbit in terms of global shipments during that period. Furthermore, the report shows that Fitbit not only lost its top position to Apple in the first quarter but that it also shipped fewer wearables than Xiaomi over the same three-month period ending March 31, falling to the third spot on the podium behind the Chinese tech giant.
According to Strategy Analytics, Apple shipped 3.5 million wearables to vendors worldwide in the first quarter of 2017, up from 2.2 million units shipped in Q1 2016. In contrast, although Fitbit previously shipped a total of 4.5 million units throughout Q1 2016, the company managed to ship only 2.9 million wearables in the first quarter of 2017, according to Strategy Analytics estimate, though Fitbit's Q1 2017 earnings report puts that number at three million. Fitbit’s shipment figures fell behind Xiaomi’s, who managed to ship 3.4 million wearables in the first quarter of this year, compared to 3.8 million units shipped in Q1 2016. These figures drastically reshuffled the global wearable vendor market share in the first quarter, with Apple now holding 15.9 percent of the market, up from 12.1 percent in Q1 2016. Xiaomi maintains its second place in the race with a 15.5-percent market share down from 20.9 percent year-on-year, while Fitbit’s wearables now account for 13.2 percent of the global market, down from 24.7 percent a year ago.
Strategy Analytics believes that Apple has been winning ground in the global wearable market thanks to solid sales of the Apple Watch Series 2 in the United States and the United Kingdom. The second generation Apple Watch was released in December 2016 and while it retained its predecessor’s overall design, it built on top of the first model with a new Apple S2 dual-core system-on-chip, a brighter display, better waterproofing, and the inclusion of a GPS module. Meanwhile, Strategy Analytics adds that Fitbit’s late entry into the smartwatch segment didn’t help the company in solidifying its top spot, and Fitbit continued to lose ground as demand for its fitness trackers had diminished. As for Xiaomi, it would seem the company’s strategy to release affordable wearables allowed it to maintain the second position on the market, as Strategy Analytics further reveals that demand for the Xiaomi Mi Band fitness lineup has been “broadly flat” across key markets in Asia. Regardless, Fitbit is reportedly still the global leader in terms of wearable sales, though latest data suggests that it may struggle to maintain that market position.