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Fitbit Slips To No. 2 In Wearables

China’s Xiaomi became the world’s largest wearables vendor for the first time ever in the second quarter, according to research by Strategy Analytics.

Xiaomi captured 17 percent market share of the almost 22 million total wearables units shipped in Q2, overtaking Fitbit and pushing Apple down to third place. Xiaomi shipped 3.7 wearables, up 23 percent over Q2 2006.

Steven Waltzer, industry analyst at Strategy Analytics, said, “Global wearables shipments reached 21.6 million units in Q2 2017, rising 8 percent annually from 20 million in Q2 2016. Strong demand for low-cost fitness bands in China and premium smart watches across the United States drove the uptick.”

“Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness trackers are wildly popular in China, due to their highly competitive pricing and rich features such as heart-rate monitors, step-counters and calendar alerts,” Neil Mawston, Strategy Analytics executive director, said. “Fitbit shipped 3.4 million wearables for 16 percent market share worldwide, almost halving its 29 percent a year ago. Fitbit is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between the low-end fitness bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smart watches sold by Apple.”

Apple shipped 2.8 million wearables worldwide in Q2, growing 56 percent annually from 1.8 million in Q2 2016.

“Apple has for now lost its wearables leadership to Xiaomi, due to a lack of presence in the sizeable fitness band subcategory,” said Cliff Raskind, director at Strategy Analytics. “However, the rumored upcoming Watch Series 3 launch with enhanced health tracking could prove to be a popular smart watch model and enable Apple to reclaim the top wearables spot later this year.”