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Global wearable shipments up 5.6pc YoY in Q2 as wristwatches surge

Paul Lipscombe
September 2, 2021

But sales of basic bands continue to decline, according to Canalys 

The global wearable band market grew by 5.6 per cent year-on-year for the second quarter, according to Canalys figures.

In total 40.9 million units were shipped during Q2 2021, with wristwatches driving the growth as basic bands continue to decline.

Sales of wristwatches grew by 37.9pc YoY, with units reaching 25.4 million as these products now account for 62 per cent of global wearable band shipments.

It continues the trend of wristwatches being the dominant product over basic bands since Q4 last year, with shipments of basic bands down 23.8pc to 15.5m units in Q2 2021.

It’s a trend that Canalys expect to last for years to come.

Xiaomi on top

Chinese vendor Xiaomi overtook Apple to become the top selling wearable manufacturer during the quarter, shipping eight million units for 19.6pc market share.

Xiaomi was boosted by the strong performance of its Mi Smart Band 6 series, according to Canalys as it narrowly beat Apple.

“Xiaomi made a wise move to hasten the release of the Mi Band 6, which is a more compelling device than its predecessor,” said Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen.

“Xiaomi’s quick pivot to basic watches also helped the company boost its wristwatch shipments by 1.3 million units this quarter.”

Apple shipped 7.9m units for 19.3pc share, with Huawei (9.2pc), Fitbit (7.3pc) and Samsung completing the top five (6.1pc).

However when it comes to the wristwatch category, Apple dominates the overall standings with 31.3 per cent market share.

Huawei with nine per cent is the next closest in this segment.

Canalys research manager Jason Low said: “Vendors are attempting to make a big generational leap in smartwatch technologies. To stand out, they are improving the fundamentals, such as user experience and battery life, creating their own distinct UIs and leveraging their respective ecosystems to draw out new and unique use cases.

“But health tracking is the most prominent use case for smartwatches. The ability to deliver cutting-edge health-tracking features and to offer users meaningful data and actionable health insights will set winners and losers apart.”

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