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Apple Watch retakes lead of wearables market, Xiaomi second

14 November 2017

The analyst says the cellular LTE Apple Watch Series 3 has proved popular, with demand outstripping supplier and carriers surprised by the demand for the cellular Watch ... However, it did mention during its latest results call that the wearable business, which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats products, grew 75 percent year-over-year. We began shipping Apple Watch series 3 just six weeks ago and customers love the new freedom of cellular.

Chinese firm Xiaomi slipped to the second spot with 3.6 million wearables, while Fitbit remained at the third place with 3.5 million units.

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The new device, Apple's first that connects to the internet without being tethered to a smartphone, took the USA mobile giant to 3.9 million shipments in the recent Q3 2017, according to new data from Canalys.

Launched in September, Apple Watch Series 3 played a major role in pushing Apple back to the top spot. Service providers had underestimated demand for the new Apple Watch. And interestingly, Canalys indicates that 800,000 of the Series 3 units sold in Q3 were cellular-enabled variants, which would appear to have help bump it to the top of the tree. "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. Compared to their most recent flagship smartphones, sales figures correspond to approximately one smartwatch sold for every seven iPhone 7/8-series models at Apple, one smartwatch sold for every 14 flagship P and Mate smartphones for Huawei, and one smartwatch sold for every 23 flagship Galaxy smartphones for Samsung.

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Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia noted in the report that "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". Unsurprisingly, the world's top three smartphone vendors are also those selling the most smartwatches. "Otherwise, the market will see further consolidation, as vendors such as Apple, Samsung and Fitbit dominate with their watch software platforms", added Low.

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Apple Watch retakes lead of wearables market, Xiaomi second