CHINESE TAT SELLER Xiaomi toppled rivals Apple and Fitbit to become the top flogger of wearables in the third quarter of 2018.
So says IDC, which in its latest report claims that 32 million smartwatches and fitness trackers were sold during the three-month period, up 21.7 per cent from the previous year.
While Apple has previously taken the top spot in IDC's rankings, Cupertino was overtaken by UK newbie Xiaomi. The firm managed to unload 6.9 million units of its bargain-bin fitness trackers, up from 3.6 million in the same period last year, snagging 21.5 per cent of the entire market.
IDC credits this growth to the success of Xiaomi's Mi Band .3 wearable, and its "significant expansion" beyond China; its home country accounted for 61 per cent of its total sales, down from 80 per cent this time last year.
"Many of the new basic wearables include features like notifications or simple app integrations that bleed into smartwatch territory. This 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," remarked Jitesh Ubrani senior research analyst for IDC Mobile Device Trackers.
"However, this resurgence of basic wearables should be watched closely as these wearables have historically been popular due to their low price points and simplified set of features.
"As more features get added and as the price differential between basic trackers and smartwatches narrows, brands could potentially move consumers upstream to smartwatches."
Apple, meanwhile, slipped into second place, despite seeing an increase in sales; it flogged 4.2 million Apple Watch devices, during the quarter, up from 2.7 million in Q3 2017, to claim 13.1 per cent of the market.
The firm's new Series 4 Watch, its first to come with a built-in ECG reader, accounted for less than 20 per cent of all Apple Watch shipments, IDC claims, with buyers instead tempted by the reduced price of the Apple Watch 3.
Fitbit, unsurprisingly, ranked third in IDC's list with 3.5 million fitness trackers shipped, followed by Huawei and Samsung, which flogged 1.9 million and 1.8 million wearable devices, respectively. µ
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