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Xiaomi remains the king in the wearable band market but Huawei is growing faster

Wearable band shipments have grown 65% year-on-year worldwide, with Chinese vendors as key drivers.

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Chinese electronics company Xiaomi remains the top dog in the global wearable band market with a record-high market share of 27% in the third quarter of 2019, after shipping 12.2 million devices around the world, while its Chinese rival Huawei is catching up with an annual 243% surge and a 13% market share, according to the latest Canalys report.

China accounts for 41.3% of worldwide shipments of wearable bands, growing 60% year-over-year, the largest in the world, while the Asia Pacific is the smallest market of the four analyzed regions at 11.2%, but with the fastest growth pace, up 130% from Q3 2018. The Americas accounted for 24.7%, while Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) represented 22.8%.

Xiaomi has sustained its growth pace thanks to its strong domestic performance and aggressive overseas expansion. The company’s shipments grew 74% year-over-year globally, said Canalys.

Apple is the runner up, with a 15% market share, and with the highest year-on-year growth since Q2 2017, thanks to its newly-released Apple Watch Series 5, which contributed to almost 60% of the firm’s quarterly shipments.

Huawei shipped 5.9 million devices and recorded an impressive 245% annual growth, taking the third place. “Huawei offered various promotional bundles in China on different low-end wearables to improve the appeal of its smartphone users, but Huawei will face growing challenges to sustain its growth pace with the Watch GT line-up,” said Cinthia Chen, research analyst at Canalys.

Fitbit, recently fully acquired by tech giant Google for roughly USD 2.1 billion, has seen its market share shrink to 8% in Q3, ranking in the fourth seat. The firm was the only producer in the top five to not increase its shipments over last year.

Xiaomi achieved its record volume thanks to its strategy focusing on low prices, particularly in Asia Pacific’s price-sensitive markets. “Q3 2019 was the first full quarter of channel fill for Mi Band 4, and Xiaomi’s product enhancements have resonated well with key target audiences,” Chen said.

The company also reached a record volume of 2.7 million units shipment in the EMEA market, up 110% year-on-year. “A successful wearable business enhances Xiaomi’s brand image in other smart device segments,” said Ben Stanton, senior analyst at Canalys.

Hong Kong-listed Xiaomi, the world’s fourth smartphone supplier and the top player in India, has been speeding up its global push as Huawei’s substantial growth poses a real threat in the home market.

Earlier this month, Xiaomi entered the Japanese market, launching a slew of products including smartphones, wearable bands, and rice cookers, KrASIA reported.