Although the wearables market has been noticeably having a hard time in the United States mobile market, it is actually doing okay across the globe. As a matter of fact, the latest report from Canalys indicates that wearables are showing an 8 percent improvement year over year. Sure, that 8 percent growth may not be jaw dropping, but it is growth nonetheless.
Interestingly, the brand that is leading the way is Xiaomi. For those who have been following the Chinese mobile manufacturer closely, they may not be that surprised to find out that the tech giant is now the number one wearable device maker in the world, at least in terms of the volume of worldwide shipments.
Sure, this may be the first time that Xiaomi has led the wearables market, but it deserves some credit for taking full advantage of former leader Fitbit’s slide. For the longest time, Fitbit was considered by many as the undisputed king of wearables, but recent months have seen the brand deal with lagging sales.
According to Canalys latest report, Xiaomi had managed to register a shipment volume of 3.5 million units, surpassing Fitbit’s 3.3 million units shipped. While Xiaomi has done well in taking the lead, Fitbit’s struggles may come out as the more talked about topic. Fitbit after all posted a worrying 34 percent decreased in shipments compared to the previous year’s. It gets even more intriguing when one considers how last year, Fitbit actually recorded a 36 percent growth year over year. On third place is Apple, and despite the fact that the iPhone maker also suffered a slide in terms of shipment volume, it still shipped a pretty respectable shipment volume (2.7 million units).
So how exactly did Xiaomi became the market leader? Apart from Fitbit’s and Apple’s slides, Xiaomi basically had won the pricing war. Like other China based mobile manufacturers, Xiaomi has been banking on the affordability of its products for several years now. When it came to wearable devices, the company simply stayed true to its standard operating protocol. For instance, the pricing of Xiaomi fitness trackers can go for as low as $15 in the US mobile market. It goes without saying that Fitbit and Apple can not match this low price -- Fitbit’s cheapest offering is the clip on Zip, which fetches for $60, while the Apple Watch’s pricing is considerably higher.
Of course, the question is -- can Xiaomi keep this up heading into the busy holiday shopping season? It remains to be seen.
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