Apple overtakes Fitbit to become world’s top wearables vendor thanks to Apple Watch growth

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While Apple itself doesn’t break out Apple Watch sales numbers due to competitive reasons, we can usually get a good idea of performance from analytic companies. Now, Strategy Analytics is out with its latest numbers, reporting that Apple sold 3.5 million Apple Watch units during the most recent quarter…

 

According to the data, global wearables shipments rose to 22 million units during Q1 2017 (Apple’s fiscal Q2), up 21 percent from 18.2 million during the first quarter of 2016. Apple saw the biggest jump, increasing its shipments from 2.2 million during Q1 2016 to 3.5 million during Q1 2017. This 59 percent annual rise saw Apple capture 16 percent of the global market, overtaking Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor.

Strategy Analytics attributes this growth to strong performance for the Apple Watch Series 2 thanks to its “enhanced styling, intensive marketing, and a good retail presence.

Just as notable as Apple’s rise, however, is Fitbit’s fall. The once-dominant wearables company saw its shipments fall to 2.9 million, down from 4.5 million in Q1 2016. Strategy Analytics blames this fall on slowing demand for its fitness bands and “late entry to the emerging smartwatch market.”

Fitbit’s performance saw it come in at number three in the wearables market, with Xiaomi capturing the second spot with 3.4 million shipments and 15.5 percent of the market. Fitbit, on the other hand, fell to 13.2 percent.

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said:

“Apple captured 16 percent global marketshare and overtook Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor. The new Apple Watch Series 2 is selling relatively well in the US, UK and elsewhere, due to enhanced styling, intensive marketing and a good retail presence.

Xiaomi shipped 3.4 million wearables for 15 percent marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017. Demand for its popular Mi Band fitness range was broadly flat across its core markets of Asia.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook talked up the performance of Apple Watch during Apple’s recent earnings call, saying that Apple saw shipments of the device nearly double year-over-year. Cook attributed the strong performance of Apple Watch to feature such as fitness and health tracking.

Steven Waltzer, Industry Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global wearables shipments reached 22.0 million units in Q1 2017, rising 21 percent annually from 18.2 million in Q1 2016. Stronger demand for new smartwatch models in North America, Western Europe and Asia drove the uptick.”

Neil Mawston, Executive Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Apple shipped 3.5 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, rising 59 percent annually from 2.2 million units in Q1 2016. Apple captured 16 percent global marketshare and overtook Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor. The new Apple Watch Series 2 is selling relatively well in the US, UK and elsewhere, due to enhanced styling, intensive marketing and a good retail presence. Xiaomi shipped 3.4 million wearables for 15 percent marketshare worldwide in Q1 2017. Demand for its popular Mi Band fitness range was broadly flat across its core markets of Asia.”

Cliff Raskind, Director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Fitbit shipped 2.9 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, falling a huge 36 percent annually from 4.5 million in Q1 2016. Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple, due to slowing demand for its fitnessbands and a late entry to the emerging smartwatch market. Fitbit’s shipments, revenue, pricing and profit are all shrinking at the moment and the company has a major fight on its hands to recover this year.”

About Strategy Analytics:

Strategy Analytics is a global, independent research and consulting firm. The company is headquartered in Boston, USA, with offices in the UK, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, India and China. Visit www.strategyanalytics.com for more information.

Numbers are rounded. The definition of wearables includes products such as smartwatches, fitnessbands and smartglasses, but does NOT include peripheral attachments such as smart weighing scales.


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