Apple once again leads the wearable market, followed by Xiaomi and Fitbit

Apple once again leads the wearable market, followed by Xiaomi and Fitbit

Apple once again leads the wearable market, followed by Xiaomi and Fitbit

Apple sold the most smartwatches of any company in the second half of this 2017, according to Canalys, reclaiming its spot as the top wearables vendor and posting its strongest quarter this year so far.

Apple saw strong interest in its updated Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch in the third quarter, but most buyers opted for models without the most-touted new feature: cellular connectivity.

As Canalys analyst Jason Low explained, "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers".

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During the same period, Xiaomi and Fitbit shipped 3.6 million and 3.5 million wearable bands, respectively. Still, their performance was better than average in the sluggish Q3, according to Canalys, where business has historically been slower.

The refreshed Apple Watch also helped Apple (aapl) grab the top spot in the quarter's market rankings. The Watch Series 3 is available in Wi-Fi only avatars as before in most markets, while some countries get the LTE variant as well that uses a separate data connection which gives it more capabilities even when a phone isn't paired. Despite increased shipments, the overall wearable band market dropped by 2% to 17.3 million units, primarily due to the waning demand for the basic bands, Canalys estimates. In contrast, market researchers like IDC do not include wireless headphones in the wearables category unless they include other additional features, such as health/fitness tracking, integrated artificial intelligence (AI) that isn't just coming through a paired smartphone, augmented audio, or real-time translation. It must be noted that the Watch Series 3 was only on sale for the last ten days of the quarter ending September.

During Apple's latest financial conference call, Apple's CEO highlighted the Apple Watch in his opening statement.

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In China, the Apple Watch LTE access is now disabled by the government.

At 9.53 a.m. EST, Apple shares were down 0.57% at $173.02.

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