Apple and Xiaomi assumed joint top spot in the global wearables market, which overall saw a 17.9 per cent year-on-year rise in shipments during the first quarter of the year.
According to data from analyst company IDC, Apple and Xiaomi are leading the way against rivals including Samsung, Garmin and Fitbit, with multiple products generating double- and triple-digit growth.
In total, wearable shipments globally hit 24.7 million in Q1 2017, up from 20.9 million units shipped in Q1 2016.
IDC said Apple saw “sustained demand” for its Series 1 and Series 2 watches, which enabled it to record the second highest year-over-year growth among leading companies.
Apple’s total Q1 shipments reached 3.6 million units compared with 2.2 million in the same quarter of 2016.
“The Series 1 and 2 have been a welcome change from the higher priced and undifferentiated experience found on the original Apple Watch from a year ago, attracting both first time users and those seeking to replace their previous watches,” said IDC.
China’s Xiaomi propelled itself to joint market leader during Q1 2017 following several years as the number two or three company, by matching the 3.6 million units shipped by Apple.
More than 96 per cent of Xiaomi’s shipments – primarily fitness tracking bands – came in its home market, with many sold as part of a bundle with smartphones.
Fitbit, once a leader in the fitness wristband market and a dominant player in the wearables market as a whole, ranked in third position during the opening quarter of the year, followed closely by Samsung.
In fact, Samsung led all companies in terms of annual growth during Q1, shipments grew from 700,000 in Q1 2016 to 1.4 million units in the recent period, with its Gear S3 Frontier and Classic smartwatches driving the growth.