Market research firm Strategy Analytics has declared Apple the wearable device leader in the first quarter of 2017. According to the report, Apple captured 16 percent of the total market for wearables during the first three months of the year. In fact, Apple and Xiaomi bumped Fitbit out of the top slot, representing a significant challenge to the previous market leader.
Clocking 3.5 million Apple Watch units worldwide, Apple leads the pack, with Xiaomi coming in at second place with 3.4 million units for the quarter. This puts Fitbit at third place with 2.9 million units sold. While Fitbit fell 36 percent under Q1 2016 numbers due to shrinking sales, Apple Watch sales increased 59 percent over the same period.
Xiaomi's Mi Band fitness products, which are popular in Asia dropped in market share from 21 percent to under 16 percent over the year. Overall, the global wearables market increased 21 percent year-over-year to 22 million units sold in Q1 2017. Increased demand for smart watches in North America, Western Europe and Asia drove most of the surge in sales, despite slowing demand overall for fitness bands.
The definition of wearables includes smart watches, fitness bands and smart glasses, but peripherals such as smart scales are not included in sales figures. Of course, these numbers are estimates, and Apple has yet to share definitive Apple Watch sales figures. In the latest earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook explained that Apple Watch sales have doubled year-over-year, and the wearables component of Apple's business is large enough to be its own Fortune 500 company.It's estimated that the Apple Watch, along with AirPods and other "wearable" devices sold by the company have netted Apple over $5 billion in the past year. When it comes to AirPods, the product has reportedly smashed customer satisfaction records. The company continues to offer unique Apple Watch options, such as new bands each season and the limited Apple Watch NikeLab edition.