Apple reclaims its wearable throne while Xiaomi slips into second place

After falling behind earlier this year, the Cupertino giant is back
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Apple has once again surged to the top of the global wearables market, forcing Xiaomi into second place.

That's according to research firm Canalys, who suggests that the Cupertino giant managed to ship 3.9 million units of the Apple Watch for Q3 2017. It also represents the most successful quarter for the Watch, which was enough to dethrone temporary leader Xiaomi, who shipped 3.6 million wearables this quarter. Fitbit, meanwhile, sits in third position after shifting 3.5 million units.

Read this: Apple Watch Black Friday guide

Naturally, as we discussed when Xiaomi took the lead in the wearable market over the summer, Apple was always likely to reclaim its standing through the help of the Apple Watch Series 3 and older devices shifting over to watchOS 4. And interestingly, Canalys indicates that 800,000 of the Series 3 units sold in Q3 were cellular-enabled variants, which would appear to have help bump it to the top of the tree.

Elsewhere, Android Wear continues to lag behind the rest of the competition, despite offering users the most options to choose from in the smartwatch market.

"Google must show stronger commitment to help Android Wear vendors, which are now mostly watchmakers and fashion brands, to further improve the user experience and app ecosystem. Otherwise, the market will see further consolidation, as vendors such as Apple, Samsung and Fitbit dominate with their watch software platforms," said Canalys analyst Jason Low.

As we enter the year's most crucial quarter, which includes mountains of sales through Black Friday and beyond, it would be a surprise if Apple wasn't able to maintain its influence among the crowd and stay on top.

Apple reclaims its wearable throne while Xiaomi slips into second place

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Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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