Apple Retakes Lead in Smartwatch Market: Canalys

Report: Apple is back to being the world's top wearable maker

Apple Watch retakes lead of wearables market, Xiaomi second: report

Despite strong shipments, the Apple Watch Series 3 did not reach its full potential in Q3. According to a report from market research outfit Canalys, Apple shipped 3.9 million watches in third quarter, 800,000 of which were cellular enabled. This is a big jump from the 2.8 million units shipped previous year.

Armed with his kitesurf and Apple Watch 3 on his wrist, one John Zilles took against the waves on a new underwater hydrofoil wing, but about a mile in, he wiped out, and couldn't get his heavy kit airborne again. Xiaomi and Fitbit, which shipped 3.6 million and 3.5 million wearable bands respectively, have also bucked the trend of the traditionally weaker Q3 by posting quarter-on-quarter growth.

However, it's important to note that Xiaomi and Fitbit primarily sell basic wearable bands. It must be noted that the Watch Series 3 was only on sale for the last ten days of the quarter ending September.

In some ways, Apple's performance was even more impressive because supplies of the new watch were limited, meaning demand was stronger than the number of shipments indicates.

Offering a "tetherless" experience along with highlighting the health features of the app has surely worked in favor of the USA firm.

Apple CEO, Tim Cook, commented on its smartwatch sales in the company's most recent earnings report. The cellular Watch Series 3 sells for $399 while a version without connectivity is priced at $329. Apple also released the new WatchOS 4 operating system for all Watch generations. The numbers for Q3 2017 suggest that Apple shipped 3.9 million units of the Apple Watch, which is the company's strongest quarter ever for the Watch. "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers", said Canalys analyst Jason Low in a report highlighting the results.

In September, Apple unveiled a watch with built-in cellular, which means users can use the device to make calls, stream music and perform other tasks without having to be tethered to the iPhone. The Chinese government has now disabled the Apple Watch LTE access due to apparent security concerns, but the once the issue is resolved, Canalys expects strong demand from the Chinese buyers as well, according to 9to5mac.

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