Apple shipped more smartwatches and other devices in the first quarter of this year than any other manufacturer and has moved to the top of the charts. The increase in terms of the absolute numbers and the overall market share also registered a significant increase. Interestingly, the Chinese brand Xiaomi came in the second place, pushing the erstwhile leader Fitbit to the third spot. It must be noted here that Fitbit also witnessed a huge drop in their shipment numbers in the first quarter of this year as compared to 2016.
The overall market for wearable devices of different kinds grew from 18.2 million in the first three months of 2016 to 22 million units in 2017. These are the figures based on a recent report by Strategy Analytics. Of these, 3.5 million were Apple watches, which clocked an impressive growth of 60% from the last yearâ€™s figure of 2.2 million watches.
Xiaomi was the second largest selling brand in this device segment, selling around 3.4 million wearable devices and Fitbit, the leader until now, could sell only 2.90 million.
In percentage terms, as indicated, while Appleâ€™s sales grew by 60%, Xiaomi actually dropped its figures marginally but finished second and ahead of Fitbit. It was Fitbit which lost its sales by a huge margin from 4.5 million a year ago to 2.9 million, a drop of over 55%! Apple had been at the top last in the final quarter of 2015. So it is a matter of regaining the leadership for the Cupertino based tech giant.
Reports indicate that Fitbit has been passing through certain difficult times and has had to effect job cuts to the extent of 110 hands this January. There are, however, recent reports that suggest the company has indeed turned the corner and has posted a healthy performance in the first quarter. Fitbitâ€™s products Flex 2 fitness tracker and the smartwatch Blaze have been quite popular through the years, but some analysts do believe the brand might be past its prime and it may not be easy for it to reclaim the top slot.
On the success of Appleâ€™s smartwatches, the analystsâ€™ take is that its Apple Watch Series 2 has been received well in the market and has notched up impressive sales numbers, particularly in markets like the US and the UK.