The increasing popularity of smartwatches has been clearly evidenced by the IDC data. The latest report from the market intelligence provider shows wearable devices to have grown 21.7% year-on-year (YoY) in Q3 2018. Global shipments of wearable devices reached 32.0 million units during the three month period.

Xiaomi grabbed the top spot beating Apple, while Fitbit still continues to remain third. Samsung was the biggest gainer with 91.0% YoY growth.

Xiaomi leapfrogs Apple into the top spot

Riding strongly on the back of growing demand in Asia-Pacific markets, Chinese device maker Xiaomi has emerged as the world’s leading wearables vendor by shipments. The company shipped 6.9 million units of wearables in the third quarter of 2018, grabbing 21.5 percent of the global market. It saw a whopping 90.9% YoY growth in that period.



Xiaomi’s success is attributable to two factors: huge popularity of the Mi Band 3 and market expansion beyond China. Nearly 39% of Xiaomi’s total shipments were exported out of China, double from about 20% a year earlier. The company has successfully expanded its reach to Europe, India, and the Middle East/Africa territories.

Apple also saw a healthy YoY growth of 54% in Q3 2018. The American giant shipped 4.2 million units of wearable devices in that period. The company launched the Apple Watch Series 4 in Q3 2018, which also resulted a price cut in the older devices, effecting bigger shipments. Its 13.1% market share, however, still trails Xiaomi’s 21.5% by a big margin.

In contrary, Fitbit saw a 3.1% YoY decline in shipments this term. It’s shipment volume also decline to 3.5 million units from 3.6 million units last year. Huawei is placed fourth with 1.9 million units shipment and 5.9% of the market share.

Samsung took the final spot in the top five with 5.6% share. The Galaxy Watch has seen a huge success marking a 91.0% YoY growth for the company. The South Korean giant shipped 1.8 million wearable devices this quarter.



Market wise, the Asia-Pacific region saw a 21.4% growth as the craze for smart wearables start picking the pace in the region. United States, meanwhile, saw a 0.4% decline as it transitions from a market driven by new users to one that relies on replacement devices and upgrades.