Xiaomi scales pin­na­cle in wear­ables

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MA SI and CHENG YU

For the first time, Chi­nese tech­nol­ogy gi­ant Xiaomi Corp has leapfrogged Ap­ple Inc to be the world’s largest wear­able prod­uct man­u­fac­turer, a new re­port said.

The Bei­jing-based Xiaomi has out­com­peted ri­vals with af­ford­able prod­ucts in the sec­ond quar­ter of this year by ship­ping 3.7 mil­lion wear­able de­vices, up 23 per­cent yearon-year.

This gave it a 17 per­cent share of the global wear­able de­vices mar­ket, ac­cord­ing to con­sul­tancy Strat­egy An­a­lyt­ics.

Xiaomi did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment on its achieve­ment.

Ap­ple, which took the crown in the first quar­ter, shipped 2.8 mil­lion smart wear­ables in the sec­ond quar­ter and slipped to the third spot.

US hard­ware firm Fit­bit came in sec­ond with 3.4 mil­lion shipped wear­ables, chief- Global wear­ables ven­dor ship­ments and mar­ket share in Q2, 2017 ly smart fit­ness bands, down 40 per­cent year-on-year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Strat­egy re­port, global ship­ments of wear­ables reached 22 mil­lion units in the sec­ond quar­ter, up 8 per­cent year-on-year.

Strong de­mand for low-cost fit­ness bands in China and pre­mium smart­watches across the United States drove the uptick, in­dus­try in­sid­ers said.

Steven Waltzer, an an­a­lyst at Strat­egy An­a­lyt­ics, said Ap­ple ap­pears to have lost its wear­ables lead­er­ship to Xiaomi partly be­cause it does not have a pres­ence in the siz­able fit­ness band sub­cat­e­gory.

Jean Xiao, re­search man­ager at IDC China, said: “Un­like ba­sic wear­able prod­ucts in over­seas mar­kets where fit­ness track­ing is their main func­tion, Chi­nese con­sumers are de­mand­ing more func­tion­al­i­ties. Play­ers need to catch up with the trend.”

As con­sumers be­come in­creas­ingly health-con­scious, they are em­brac­ing smart wear­ables such as watches and bracelets to help track heartrates, steps walked and other daily ac­tiv­i­ties, ex­perts said.

“Xiaomi’s Mi Band fit­ness track­ers are wildly pop­u­lar in China, due to their highly com­pet­i­tive pric­ing and rich fea­tures such as heart-rate mon­i­tors, step-coun­ters and cal­en­dar alerts,” Waltzer said.

“But Ap­ple’s ru­mored up­com­ing Watch Se­ries 3, which is said to have en­hanced health track­ing func­tion, could prove to be highly pop­u­lar, and en­able it to re­claim the top wear­ables spot later this year.”

Ear­lier this year, Xiaomi re-en­tered the club of world’s top five smart­phone sell­ers. It is step­ping up ef­forts to ex­pand part­ner­ship with both on­line and off­line re­tail part­ners.

Con­tact the writers at masi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

REUTERS

A cus­tomer takes a look of the new ap­ple watch in­side an Ap­ple Inc store in New York.

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