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Mark Peters : August 11th 2017 - 10:48 CET

Cellular smartwatches will boost wearable market


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CanalysCanalys cellular smartwatch market report 2017 : Canalys experts reports that Apple lost market share in the global smart wearable market. Apple drops to the third position in Q2 2017, but predicts that smartwatches in general will receive a boost in the second half of this year. In total, the global wearable band market grew 8% year on year in Q2, Xiaomi took pole position with shipments of 3.5 million devices, closely followed by Fitbit, which shipped a total of 3.3 million devices, a 34% year-on-year decline. The top two smart wearable vendors overtook Apple, which only sells smartwatches. Apple fell to third place and shipped 2.7 million smartwatches. Xiaomi and Fitbit, which sell fitness bands, benefited from stronger sell-through in the quarter, with Xiaomi expanding availability in APAC and EMEA countries.
Cellular smartwatches

Cellular smartwatch market forecast
Research experts at Canalys also predicts that the smartwatch market will receive a boost in the second half of 2017, driven by cellular smartwatches, which are forecast to ship 12 million units by the end of this year.

With Apple widely expected to include cellular capabilities in the next series of smartwatches, the company will secure its position as the key driver of smartwatch growth in the second half of 2017. Vendors integrating cellular connectivity into their smartwatches are expected to adjust their go-to-market strategies to complement the new products.

Apple cellular smartwatch

"Apple is poised to capture the cellular smartwatch market by using its strong relationships with operators, which will become critical points of sale for cellular smartwatches and related services," said Canalys Analyst Jason Low.

"Apple is the worldwide industry leader in allowing consumers to experience the different Apple Watch styles and functionalities in-store. It is crucial for Apple Stores and Appleā€™s offline retail partners to adapt quickly to effectively showcase new cellular-enabled use cases as soon as products are available.", added Jason.

Android 4G LTE smartwatches

Android 4G LTE smartwatches
"The hype surrounding intelligent watches has been short-lived and the market must now focus on compelling use cases to stimulate demand. Vendors from China, including Xiaotiancai and 360, have released Android smartwatches running on 4G LTE networks, enabling parents to keep tabs on their children," said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia.

The arrival of the new Snapdragon Wear chipsets from Qualcomm has prompted vendors to improve their wearable band offerings. Canalys research department expects premium 4G LTE enabled smartwatches in China to grow rapidly as vendors build new features on top of the basic tracking and calling capabilities.

Fitbit smart wearables

Fitbit smart wearables
Fitbit is currently facing greater pressure as the release of its next smartwatch is approaching. "Competitors are set to gain an edge with the upcoming release of cellular smartwatches. Fitbit can still mount a challenge by producing an appealing watch, avoiding the typical pitfalls of bulky design and short battery life, while integrating a system that gives proactive coaching, which may deliver noticeable benefits to users. Fitbit must outdo the rest to win the wearable market," added Low.




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