Apple Overtakes Fitbit Wearables Market Lead

In the first quarter of 2017, Apple captured 16% global wearables market share and overtook Fitbit to become the world’s largest wearables vendor, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.

According to the firm, Apple shipped 3.5 million wearables worldwide in the first quarter, rising 59% from 2.2 million units in the first quarter of 2016, while Fitbit shipped 2.9 million, falling 36% from 4.5 million in the previous first quarter.

According to Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, the new Apple Watch Series 2 is selling relatively well in the U.S., U.K. and elsewhere due to its styling, intensive marketing and a good retail presence. In addition, Xiaomi, which has taken the second market leader position ahead of Fitbit, shipped 3.4 million wearables for 15% market share worldwide in the first quarter.

Cliff Raskind, director at Strategy Analytics, said, “Fitbit has lost its wearables leadership to Apple due to slowing demand for its fitness bands and a late entry to the emerging smart watch market. Fitbit’s shipments, revenue, pricing and profit are all shrinking at the moment and the company has a major fight on its hands to recover this year.”

Apple’s new lead in the global wearables market comes shortly after Fitbit reported a net loss in the first quarter and a new restructuring plan. James Park, Fitbit CEO, noted, “While 2017 remains a transition year, we have executed on our restructuring plan and are focused on positioning the company for the next stage of growth within wearables and connected health.”