And somehow, with that humble little offering called MiBand, Xiaomi has propelled itself all the way to the second spot in the latest figures released by IDC for world’s leading wearable tech sellers in Q1’15. And yes, we reviewed the MiBand pretty comprehensively, the same can be found here.
The list was led by San Fransciso based Fitbit which made 3.9 million shipments in Q1 2015, followed by 2.9 million Mi band shipments of Xiaomi. Garmin was placed third behind Xiaomi with 700,000 devices, Samsung fourth with 600,000 and high-profile fitness tracker maker Jawbone came fifth with just 500,000 devices.
This makes almost a quarter of market share for Xiaomi which began selling its Mi Band in the second half of 2014, just behind Fitbit with 34.2 % market share (10.5 % less than last year) whose first quarter shipments were driven by the release of three new devices (the Charge, Charge HR, and the Surge) along with continued demand for its older Flex wristband and One and Zip clip-on models.
Separately, these address multiple segments of the market, from casual exerciser to committed athlete, thus making it a clear market leader in the worldwide wearable IDC reported a total of 11.4 million wearable devices which were sold globally in Q1, 2015 which is 200% more than the first quarter of 2014 which had just 3.8 million devices.
However, the battle for wearable technology is sure to get intense with the arrival of Apple watch which went on sale at the end of April and is estimated to have already sold upwards of 2 million units – with a whopping 30 million sales forecast for 2015 in total.
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. This will force the competition to up their game in order to stay on the leading edge of the market.
said IDC wearables researcher Ramon Llamas.
Xiaomi devices are known for providing a great value for money by offering premium features at unbelievable prices. The same thing seemed to have worked for Xiaomi in wearable tech as it offered its Mi Band at just $15 which was initially available in China and recently went on sale outside of China in the UK, US and parts of Europe, along with seven markets in Asia.
But, given the fact that despite the presence of many budget friendly options in smart phones now a days, the premium Apple iPhone has not been affected, speaks volumes of the faith consumers have on the brand Apple and the same trend could be seen with Apple watches.
This may lead to the possible polarization of wearable tech market from next year between the cheaper sub $40-$45 market lead by Xiaomi and others, and the premium $300-plus market with Apple Watch as its poster child.
Apart from Xiaomi and Apple, one should not underestimate the current market leader Fitbit which is gearing up to go public and reportedly expects to sell 22.4 million shares, raising over $500 million in an IPO priced between $14 and $16 valuing the company at around $3 billion.