Apple retakes the lead in the wearable band market in Q3 2017

Report: Apple is back to being the world's top wearable maker

Apple shipped 2.8 million units of wearables in the third quarter in 2016. The third-generation Apple Watch launched September 22. Of those, 800,000 were likely Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular units. Apple Watch has typically been a strong holiday product and demand for the S3 Watch is significantly higher than the S2 was a year ago.

One of the reasons for the Apple Watch doing well in the quarter is the boost received with the launch of the Apple Watch Series 3 in September.

During the previous quarter, Xiaomi had overtaken Apple as the world's largest wearable bands provider.

The Cupertino tech firm reportedly shipped 3.9 million Apple Watches during the third quarter of 2017, putting Apple in the lead of global wearables sales (smart watches, activity trackers, wearable bands etc.), according to figures from Canalys. This meant overall wearable market shipments declined 2% to 17.3 million units, in what is traditionally a slow quarter as consumer hold off on purchases until the Christmas period. The Watch Series 3 is available in Wi-Fi only avatars as before in most markets, while some countries get the LTE variant as well that uses a separate data connection which gives it more capabilities even when a phone isn't paired. "The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch, or go for a quick errand without your phone, while staying connected, is a game changer", Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the recent earnings call.

The only thing holding Apple back was limited availability in some markets, Canalysis said.

Canalys Analyst Jason Low stated for the report that "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers".

That must help, for Apple now ships a Watch for every seven iPhone 7 or 8 models it shifts, according to Canalys. The research firm believes that the carriers underestimated the demand for the cellular version. With figures of the Q3 2017 coming into the picture, Apple has 23 percent of the market share. Year to date, the stock is up over 49%, while in the last one-month, it is up over 10%.

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