Apple shipped approximately 3.5 million Apple Watches during the first quarter of 2017. With that number, it became the number one wearables seller worldwide, surpassing even rival Fitbit, which is not having a good year, according to Strategy Analytics. The iPhone maker now commands over 16% of the wearable market worldwide.
Fitbit now at third after Apple and Xiaomi in wearables
Fitbit, which had the top position in the wearables market until last year, has now dropped to third place after Apple and Xiaomi. During the quarter, Fitbit shipped about 2.9 million wearables, whereas the Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, shipped an estimated 3.4 million wearable worldwide, notes Strategy Analytics.
In the first quarter of last year, Apple shipped around 2.2 million wearables; hence, it’s a huge improvement for the tech company. For Fitbit, it was a bad quarter in comparison to last year when it shipped over 4.5 million wearable units globally. Xiaomi, on the other hand, shipped over 3.8 wearables in the first quarter of last year.
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In the first quarter of last year, the Chinese company had almost 21% of the market, compared to just 12% for Apple. Meanwhile, Fitbit had over 24.7% of the market share last year, but this year, the figure dropped to just 13.2%. Hence, both Fitbit and Xiaomi saw declines this year. However, the iPhone maker with its 15.9% share holds only a small lead over Xiaomi, which has a 15.5% share.
For the first quarter, global wearables shipments increased by 21% annually from 18.2 million last year to 22 million units. The increase was driven by robust demand for new smartwatch models in North America, Western Europe and Asia, notes Strategy Analytics.
Smartwatches more in demand than fitness bands
Currently, wearables cover both smartwatches and smart fitness bands. The Cupertino-based company only makes smartwatches for now, but it is still at the top. This means that sales of smartwatches have superseded sales of fitness bands this quarter. The Chinese company makes both smartwatches and fitness bands.
Cliff Raskind, director at research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics, said, “Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple, due to slowing demand for its fitness bands 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.”
Apple Watch sales numbers shared by various analytics firms are all estimates, as the company does not share the official sales number. Instead, the company groups the wearable into its “Other Products” category, which includes the iPod, the Apple TV, Beats products, and third-party accessories. The “Other Products” category represents only 5% of Apple’s overall revenue currently. However, during the first quarter conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook revealed that watch sales nearly doubled year-over-year.
“Combine Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats and our revenue from wearable products in the last four quarters was the size of a Fortune 500 company,” Cook said further.
On Thursday, Apple shares closed down 0.36% at $146.53. Year to date, the stock is up almost 27%, while in the last year, it is up more than 56%.