The smartwatch market globally is expected to witness a boost in the second half of 2017, according to a Canalys report. The analyst company predicts that Apple will secure a prominent position thanks to its upcoming cellular-enabled smartwatch. The report points out that the total worldwide wearable band market grew 8 per cent year on year in Q2 2017.
Xiaomi led the worldwide smartwatch market as the company shipped 3.5 million units. The Chinese vendor was followed by Fitbit with shipments of 3.3 million units. The third place was bagged by Apple which shipped 2.7 million Apple Watch units. Canalys attributes Xiaomi’s success to its expansion of availability in APAC and EMEA.
Canalys predicts that boost in smartwatch market will be largely driven by cellular-enabled smartwatches. About 12 million units of these devices are expected to ship by the end of the year. Thanks to calling capabilities, the sales of premium LTE-enabled smartwatches in China are expected to grow rapidly.
“The hype surrounding smartwatches has been short-lived and the market must now focus on compelling use cases to stimulate demand. Vendors in China, including Xiaotiancai and 360, have released Android-based smartwatches running on LTE networks, enabling parents to keep tabs on their children,” said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia. “The arrival of the new Snapdragon Wear chipsets from Qualcomm has prompted vendors to improve their wearable band offerings,” Jia added.
“Apple is poised to capture the cellular smartwatch market by using its strong relationships with operators, which will become critical points of sale for cellular smartwatches and related services,” said Canalys Analyst Jason Low. “Apple is the industry leader in allowing consumers to experience the different Apple Watch styles and functionalities in-store. It is crucial for Apple Stores and Apple’s offline retail partners to adapt quickly to effectively showcase new cellular-enabled use cases as soon as products are available.” Low added.