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$15 Mi Band Propels Xiaomi As Second Biggest Wearable Maker; Apple Watch Seen To Surge Soon

Jun 05, 2015 03:05 AM EDT | By Erik Pineda
apple watch, Xiaomi, Mi Band, Wearable, Smartwatch
Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun
Xiaomi Chairman Lei Jun teams up with : Reuters)

Rising Chinese device maker Xiaomi surged past better known brands to assume the number two spot of the biggest wearable makers in the world. Xiaomi's 2.8 million ship outs in the first quarter of 2015 bested that of Samsung's 0.6 million units, the latest data showed.

Fitbit, however, is the top vendor as it rolled out 3.9 million units in the same period, according to global research firm IDC. The same report also indicated that only 11.4 million of wearable devices reached the market in the first three months of 2015, signalling that the market is still in the infancy state.


Yet the growth pace has been remarkable as the IDC report revealed a 200 percent increase in shipments in the past 12 months, TechCrunch said in a report. Even more impressive is Xiaomi's performance as the company captured more than 24 percent of the market by the end of March this year.

In the same period in 2014, Xiaomi wearables were non-existent. Most of the credits for the company's quick success go to the super-cheap device that retails for only $14.99. The band sells in key markets like China, the USA and Europe.

The low pricing trend will only continue as IDC said that price erosion in any new and emerging market is hardly surprising. The firm also noted that the top five players in Q1 2015 mostly released wearables with average price of under $50 while delivering the same features seen in the premium brands.


But the general scene could experience a sweeping change by the end of the year, largely due to the Apple Watch that debuted in April 2015 and other high-end smartwatches. Despite its tag price that starts at $400 plus and up to $15,000 plus, Apple cleared as many as 10 million pieces during its initial months of availability, The Guardian reported.

Analysts are forecasting that the total Apple Watch sales by the end of 2015 could easily breach the 30-million mark.

"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," IDC was reported by the UK publication as saying.

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