Apple becomes leading wearables vendor as Tim Cook says business is ‘Fortune 500’ size
Global shipments of wearable devices hit 22 million units in the first quarter of 2017 with Apple overtaking Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor, according to Strategy Analytics.
In the company’s latest report, Strategy Analytics states that the global wearables shipments figure saw an increase of 21% on an annual basis from 18.2 million in Q1 2016, owing to a stronger demand for new smartwatch models in North America, Western Europe and Asia.
Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said: “Apple shipped 3.5 million wearables worldwide in Q1 2017, rising 59% annually from 2.2 million units in Q1 2016. Apple captured 16% global market share and overtook Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor.
“The new Apple Watch Series 2 is selling relatively well in the US, UK and elsewhere, due to enhanced styling, intensive marketing and a good retail presence. Xiaomi shipped 3.4 million wearables for 15% market share worldwide in Q1 2017. Demand for its popular Mi Band fitness range was broadly flat across its core markets of Asia.”
To date, Apple has never publicly revealed the exact sales figures for the Apple Watch, like it does for its iPhone and iPad. But at a recently held quarterly earnings call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook hinted that the company’s wearable business, which includes the Watch, Beats headphones and the new Airpods, is now “the size of a Fortune 500 company.” According to data from BI Intelligence, the Apple Watch units have more than doubled in six of its top 10 markets.