Fitbit loses top spot as wearable sales continue to soar

Xiaomi and Apple have pushed past Fitbit for the first time to claim the number 1 and 2 spots in rankings of largest wearable device companies.

According wearable shipment figures just released by the IDC, Fitbit shipped 3 million devices in Q1 2017, significantly down on the 4.9 million sold in the same three month period last year. Its share of global wearables sales nearly halved from 23.2% to 12.3%.

Xiaomi claimed the top spot despite a 3% year-on-year fall in shipments. The Chinese tech giant shifted 3.6 million devices, only slightly ahead of Apple in second place. The Cupertino company saw a huge 64% jump in sales no doubt helped by strong sales of its Series 2 smartwatch. Samsung and Garmin rounded off the top five accounting for around 5% of the market each.

“Fitbit finds itself in the midst of a transformation as user tastes evolve from fitness bands to watches and other products,” noted Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables team.

“This allowed Xiaomi to throttle up on its inexpensive devices within the China market and for Apple to leverage its position as the leading smartwatch provider worldwide. Now that Xiaomi and Apple have supplanted Fitbit, the next question is whether they will be able to maintain their position.

“However, by no means should Fitbit be removed from the wearables conversation,” continued Llamas. “With a user base of 50 million, a strong presence within corporate wellness, and assets that keep it top of mind for digital health, Fitbit is well positioned to move into new segments and markets.”

Meanwhile, the global wearables market continued its upward climb. A total of 24.7 million devices were shipped between January and March, up 18% on the same period in 2016.

IDC added that the wearable market is entering the second phase of its development, where companies will focus on putting user data to good use. This means we are entering an era where fitness trackers and smartwatches start to augment our abilities, making our lives easier and more productive rather than just displaying data.

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