As it is getting clear that the smartphone is not nearly as important as it used to be, companies like Xiaomi are turning more and more towards products such as wearables to make up for the lukewarm sales and declining profits.
According to a new report by IDC on the global wearable sales, the Chinese company known for its affordable gadgets is now the second largest company in the market, edging out Apple. The top spot eludes it for now, with Fitbit occupying that position at the moment. However, Xiaomi has seen the fastest growth under the top six.
The top three are followed by the good-old Garmin at a distance, followed by the re-entering of Samsung which comes at the back of the success of its new Gear S2 lineup.
The overall wearables market grew itself by 67.2 percent from 11.8 million units a year ago in the same quarter to 19.7 million.
Fitbit’s hold over a quarter of the market may seem impressive, but it was not quite nearly as impressive as its 32.6 percent share 12 months ago. Similarly, Xiaomi’s share dropped from 22.4 percent to 19 percent, showing increasing competition. To their credit, both added around a million in sales during the period.
Xiaomi’s success is in part due to its low profit margins. Its Mi Band 1S fitness tracker for one retails for just $15 (approx. Rs 1500), while its predecessor costs an even meager $11. Similarly, its new smartwatch for children costs under $50 (approx. Rs. 5,000).
For Apple, to capture third spot within its first year in is still a good feat, one which it could continue to build on as it reportedly gears up for a potential new Watch announcement this year.
With Samsung gaining competitiveness though too, the wearables market could be the next battleground for success in technology.