17 November 2017
Apple has regained the top spot in the wearable market with 3.9 million units shipped in Q3, 2017. The company regained the top spot due to a strong release of the Apple Watch Series 3.
Analysts believe that Apple Watch Series 3 shipments did not reach fulfillment due to limited availability in some major markets. Xiaomi and Fitbit were in the second and third spot with 3.6 million and 3.5 million units shipped respectively. Huawei and Samsung were on the fourth and fifth spot.
“Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers’ doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers,” said Canalys Analyst Jason Low. “In China, customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country. Besides bringing in more stock, operators should work on improving their remote service provisioning systems to cater for the expected higher demand in Q4,” said Low.
Canalys revealed that Apple shipped approximately 800,000 Apple Watch units in Q3 which were cellular-enabled. Apple revealed that its shipments were up by 1.1 million units year on year due to the company positioning of the Apple watch as a healthcare device. Samsung, Apple, and Huawei, which are the top three smartphone vendors, have launched smartwatches that complement their phone.
“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,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia. “Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories. Smartphone vendors must revaluate their respective smartwatch strategies to derive more value beyond smartphone growth.”
Market watchers believe that Q4, 2017 will see stronger sales with the launch of new wearable’s, with health tracking features, slimmer designs, and longer battery life.