Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPLE) fans are in closing in on an exciting time. It is the company’s release season and the internet is ridden with talks about their 2017 gadgets. Hogging the lime light right now is the special edition iPhone. It will help Apple lovers celebrate ten years of iPhone production. Yet two product lines are in focus: the 3 iPhones and the Apple Watch Series 3. LearnBonds looks at all we can expect from the latter, premium smartwatch.
The important thing to note is that all anyone outside of Apple has to go on is rumors. That said, the rumor mill is almost never far off the mark. Year after year, leaks and supply chain gossip get ahead of i-device launches. One might suspect the company of doing this intentionally too, just to get the excitement rolling months ahead of each release.
Ah, the Apple Watch. Its makers needs to step up their play in this volatile hardware segment. The market is quickly evolving too, although remains undecided on which gadget maker it likes best. Any one from Fitbit to Xiaomi and Apple can find themselves at the top of the smartwatch space once it matures.
Readers might remember that Apple knocked Fitbit off its pedestal earlier this year. The premium gadget maker stood at the top of the wearables market when 2017 began. This is according to figures provided by research giant Strategy Analytics. Although, that position wasn’t held for very long. A quarter later, the east proved its worth and snatched the crown off the Apple Watch. Now Xiaomi leads the wearables market. The Chinese tech maker is estimated to have shipped 3.7 million units last quarter.
The initial quarter of this year oversaw the shipments of 22 million wearables. Apple was responsible for 16 percent of that figure. This meant its accounted for more than 3.5 million unit sales for the period January to March 2017. The news quieted a lot of the naysayers. Apple holds its cards close to its chest. The corporation is particularly mum about products like the Apple Watch.
News outlets went wild with stories suggesting the product line was not doing as well as the company suggested . The Strategy Analystics report put an end to those talks. Apple clearly got a powerful start to the year.
The public also learned about the worldwide surge in wearable gadgets. Sales in Q1 were up 21 percent according to the Strategy Analytics figures. This is in contrast to the same quarter last year. Back then, just 18.2 million units were sold. It was a minor spike, really, but the wearables segment is breaking away from its niche confines. Its popularity is driven by the powerful demand for newly released smartwatch models. The USA, EU and Asia were the most influenced regions, buying smartwatches in heaps.
Again, the first quarter had around 3.5 million Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:APPLE) watches sold. Year-on-year, that’s a 59 percent spike from the 2.2 million units pushed out in Q1 2016. The popularity spike stemmed from the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 and the Christmas season that followed. The surge set Tim Cook and his company as the planet’s best vendor of wearable gadgets. Apple held 15.9 percent of the wearables market. That was almost 3 percent more than Fitbit’s 13.2 percent market share for the same quarter.
But Fitbit did not drop to second place. All the way in the east, there is another another strong competitor: Xioami. Fitbit, which was once the world’s leader in wearables, had to step aside for the Chinese tech maker too. Xiaomi was hot on Apple’s heels in Q1. Compared its 3.5 million unit shipments, Xaoimi scored a threatening 3.4 million units. It was clear then that Apple might not keep its new title for too long.
And it didn’t. The second quarter results of the wearbles race were released this month. Worldwide sales again touched 22 million units this time around, but Apple Inc. was not at the top. First place went to Xiaomi, which secured 3.7 million sales around the world.
Compared to last year, wearables were up 8 percent in Q2. Yet Xiaomi managed to push its unit sales up 23 percent year on year. The company had particular favor in Asia, where low-cost wearables surged in popularity. High-end products are gaining more attention too, and Xiaomi is not just a low-cost gadget maker.
It has premium ranges as well. What’s the next big allure? Well, Canalytics believes cellular and internet connectivity are in demand. And Xiaomi’s top end smartwatch has touched on those already.
Will Apple Watch Series 3 lag behind?
The Apple Watch has been dependent on the iPhone for online cellular capabilities since day one. Users can not make calls or send texts without their devices being tethered to a phone. The next generation will have no such requirements though. Reports claim an embedded SIM will be inside the new device. It is unlike the conventional sims usually inserted into most gadgets. However, it will work in much the same way and make cellular and online connectivity possible.
Intel will allegedly provide the modem for the incoming Apple Watch. With the ability to make calls, users can count on the device gaining a lot more popularity too. Whether the new this will be enough to outdo the Chinese corporation is yet to be seen.