Apple reclaims top spot in wearable band market after strong Q3

Apple has retaken the lead in the wearable band market thanks to the release of the Apple Watch Series 3, according to the latest industry figures from Canalys.

“Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers’ doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers,” said Jason Low, Canalys analyst, with the company adding that 800,000 Apple Watch units shipped in Q317 were cellular-enabled.

However, the release did face its set of setbacks as demand outpaced supply in major markets, thus hindering it from reaching its full potential in Q3. Low added: “In China, customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country. Besides bringing in more stock, operators should work on improving their remote service provisioning systems to cater for the expected higher demand in Q4/2017.”

Speaking about the trends in the smartwatch segment, Mo Jia, Canalys Research Analyst, said: “While health features continue to be the core focus, vendors are striving to increase the value of smartwatches by prioritising design and highlighting key features. Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories. Smartphone vendors must re-evaluate their respective smartwatch strategies to derive more value beyond smartphone growth.”

With new smartwatches coming with enhanced health-tracking features, longer battery life, better and slimmer designs, vendors are anticipating stronger Q4/2017 performance for the market.

Analyst firm Tractica, in itS recently released report, “Wearable Device Market Forecasts”, predicted that the annual wearable device shipments will increase from 118 million units in 2016 to 430 million units by 2022, representing a CAGR of 24.1%. As per the report, by the end of 2022, smartwatches will have become the largest wearable device category, followed closely by fitness trackers and body sensors.

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