Apple nudges out Xiaomi to retake global wearables lead

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Of those, 800,000 were likely Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular units.

The Cupertino tech firm reportedly shipped 3.9 million Apple Watches during the third quarter of 2017, putting Apple in the lead of global wearables sales (smart watches, activity trackers, wearable bands etc.), according to figures from Canalys. CEO Tim Cook said in Apple's most recent earnings report that Watch sales were up by 50 percent for the third consecutive quarter thanks to a focus on health services. The Apple Watch Series 3 was only available from the middle of September.

Canalys analyst Jason Low notes that cellular connectivity appears to be driving demand, which is mitigating concerns at wireless carriers that consumers aren't interested in cellular smartwatches (a concern that I shared previously). No. 400 on the Fortune 500 for 2017 was Calpine, with $6.7 billion in revenue, so we can say Apple's wearables business is at least that large and represents over half of the company's "Other Products" segment, which generated $12.9 billion in revenue in fiscal 2017.

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Despite strong shipments, the Apple Watch Series 3 did not reach its full potential in Q3. It suffered limited availability as demand outstripped supply in major markets. Canalys expects strong demand from Chinese customers once the issue is resolved. Xiaomi and Fitbit, which shipped 3.6 million and 3.5 million wearable bands respectively, have also bucked the trend of the traditionally weaker Q3 by posting quarter-on-quarter growth. "In China, [for example, ] customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country." Mr. Huawei and Samsung were well behind.

Following a lull previous year, smartwatches seem to be in high demand. "Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories". Those using abusive language or negative behavior will result in being blacklisted on Disqus.

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