Owing to the success of its Mi Band 3 in India and other markets beyond China, Xiaomi now holds the top spot with 21.5 market share in the global wearable segment in the third quarter of 2018, followed by Apple with 13.1 per cent share, said International Data Corporation (IDC).
According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker report, the global shipments of wearable devices totalled 32 million units in the third quarter of 2018 -- up 21.7 per cent from the previous year.
While Xiaomi’s domestic market “China” accounts for approximately 80 per cent of company’s shipments, that share fell to 61 per cent as Xiaomi managed to grow its presence in other markets such as India, Europe, Middle East and Africa. The company shipped 6.9 million wearables as compared to 4.2 million by Apple. Fitbit stood third shipping 3.5 million wearables.
“Basic features like notifications and simple app integrations has helped satiate consumer demand for more capable devices while also maintaining average selling prices in a market that faces plenty of downward pressure from low-cost vendors and declining smartwatch pricing," said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
"As more features get added and as the price differential between basic trackers and smartwatches narrows, brands could potentially move consumers upstream to smartwatches," he added.
New products from the likes of Fitbit, Garmin and Huawei helped the basic wearables category return to growth during the quarter, the report said, adding that another driving factor was growing demand in markets like Asia-Pacific (excluding Japan), which accounted for more than half of all shipments and grew 21.4 per cent over the previous year.
"The smartwatch market also evolved during the quarter as the two largest smartwatch brands, Apple and Fitbit, continued to delve deeper into the healthcare market," said Ubrani.
Apple managed to launch its Series 4 Watch, its first watch approved for medical use, towards the end of the quarter.
While the new design and sizes along with the latest version of Watch OS were welcome changes, the latest series only accounted for less than 20 per cent of all Apple Watch shipments, said IDC.
Huawei finished just ahead of Samsung to maintain its number four position worldwide, emphasizing its newest "TalkBand B5" series of wristbands.
Samsung closed some of the gap with Huawei and stretched its lead past other contenders, capturing the fifth position for the quarter.
The company launched its next generation smartwatch, the Galaxy Watch, marking the first time that a wearable device moved away from its traditional "Gear" moniker to the "Galaxy" sub-brand, said IDC.