Xiaomi secures second rank in global wearables market

Xiaomi band

Xiaomi has secured second rank in the global wearables market both in terms of shipments and market share, according to an IDC report.

The Chinese brand, which is preceded by Fitbit at the top spot, has taken just over a year to get to the second spot.

The Mi band priced at Rs.999 hit the market in China in August 2014 before expanding to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and finally India in April 2015.

Xiaomi had partnered with Huami Technologies — another startup — to bring the Mi band to the market.

According to the report, Fitbit maintained the top spot as it released three new devices — the Charge, Charge HR and the Surge — in the first quarter of 2015 and the continued demand for its older Flex wristband, One and Zip clip-on models.

The report placed Garmin at the third spot followed by Samsung and Jawbone. As per the report, Jawbone beat Pebble and Sony for fifth place with the launch of two new devices in 2014. The company is also expected to release two new devices in the second quarter of 2015.

The report also anticipated the effects of Apple’s watch entry as Ramon Llamas, the wearables research manager, said: “What remains to be seen is how Apple’s arrival will change the landscape.”

“The Apple watch will likely become the device that other wearables will be measured against, fairly or not. This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market,” he added.

The global wearables market has recorded its eighth consecutive quarter of steady growth in the first quarter of 2015, according to an IDC report.

Xiaomi band
Meanwhile, IDC said vendors had shipped 11.4 million wearables in this quarter, a 200 percent increase from the corresponding period last year when around 3.8 million wearables shipped.

“Bucking the post-holiday decline normally associated with the first quarter is a strong sign for the wearables market,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, wearables at IDC.

“It demonstrates growing end-user interest and the vendors’ ability to deliver a diversity of devices and experiences. In addition, demand from emerging markets is on the rise and vendors are eager to meet these new opportunities,” he added.

Fitbit took the top spot with the release of three new devices (the Charge, Charge HR, and the Surge) during the first quarter along with continued demand for its older Flex wristband and One and Zip clip-on models. Xiaomi came second with its Huami Technologies-made Mi fitness band.

Garmin took the third spot followed by Samsung, Jawbone, Pebble and Sony.

Explaining the report, Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, worldwide mobile device trackers, said: “As with any young market, price erosion has been quite drastic. We are now seeing over 40 percent of the devices priced under $ 100, and that’s one reason why the top 5 vendors have been able to grow their dominance from two thirds of the market in the first quarter of last year to three quarters this quarter.”

“Despite this price erosion, Apple’s entrance with a product priced at the high end of the spectrum will test consumers’ willingness to pay a premium for a brand or product that is the centre of attention,” he added.

IANS