During Q3 of this year, Xiaomi surpassed Fitbit in their volume of wearable electronics shipped to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA)—elevating the Chinese technology manufacturer as the largest current distributor of wearables in those regions.
The Rise in EMEA Wearables
Smartwatches and other types of wearable technology have caused their industry to grow exponentially this last decade with the launch of devices such as the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s line of fitness trackers.
While wearables of this kind have seen relatively high use in Western Europe, Xiaomi’s new and accessibly-priced Mi Band 3 wristbands were released on May 31 of this year, and have since become a top-seller that’s largely responsible for the wider use of wearables across the Middle East, Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Beyond EMEA, by 2022 wearable devices are expected to double in their popularity worldwide and reach an industry value of 27 billion dollars.
Current State of the EMEA Wearable Arena
Xiaomi’s 2018 Growth
According to this data from IDC, Xiaomi shipped 115 million wearable units to EMEA Q3, while this same time last year they only shipped 13 million. In other words, due to their recent successful product launches, Xiaomi grew their number of shipments ten-fold this year.
When one looks at their Q3 earnings in 2018 against their Q3 earnings in 2017, Xiaomi went from cornering a market share of 3.1% in EMEA wearables-related earnings to 17.5% of the market share this year.
All in all, this has allowed Xiaomi to achieve a whopping 766% year-over-year growth.
Compared to the year before, the whole of EMEA had a 55% increase in general wearable shipments with a noteworthy 65% increase in smart wearables. Among these shipments, Xiaomi surpassed all competitors with their aforementioned 115 million wearables, while Fitbit shipped 112 million, and Apple followed third at 99 million.
However, it is important to note that both Fitbit and Apple did raise their number of shipments from 2017 as well; by 20 million and 34 million units respectively. But between the two, only Apple saw an increase in market share earnings, moving from 15 percent to 15.3 percent while Fitbit fell from holding 21.7 percent to 17 percent.
The wearables market is experiencing a dynamic game of tug-of-war, and Xiaomi is currently pulling the hardest. However, Xiaomi was also on top during Q2 of 2017 before tying with Fitbit in Q3 and being beaten by Apple in Q4.
If anything, this highlights the back-and-forth nature regarding these competing brands and the market they cater to—as well as the uncertainty regarding who will perform strongest by this time next year.
All that is certain, really, is that the market for this technology is growing rapidly as more and more people become wearables users, and it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.