Xiaomi narrows gap with Fitbit on wearable device market

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The main reason for this decline can be attributed to the company's decision of focusing the U.S. market heavily, which is on a verge of saturation. Fitbit shipped an estimated 6.5 million fitness trackers in the quarter, down from 8.4 million in the year-ago quarter.

Moving to Apple, the company has shipped over 10.7 million Apple Watch units in 2016 and 4.6 million shipped in the fourth quarter alone. With 2016 seeing a staggering 102.4 million wearable devices being shipped, it is no longer a tall tale but a proven conclusion.

Shipments for the entire year grew 25 percent as new vendors entered the market and previous champions refreshed their product lineups with Xiaomi and Apple taking second and third spots respectively, the report from the market research firm IDC said.

Ear-worn devices (hearables) surpassed one per cent of all shipments for the first time in a quarter and sensor-laden clothing accounted for more than one per cent of the entire market for the full year 2016.

This is according to the latest wearables forecast from market analyst IDC.

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Fitbit still managed to hold its dominance in the wearable market, followed by Xiaomi, Apple, Garmin and Samsung.

Samsung was the fifth largest wearables vendor in the fourth quarter with an estimated 1.9 million shipments and 5.6% market share.

"As the technology disappears into the background, hybrid watches and other fashion accessories with fitness tracking are starting to gain traction". The lower entry price point and the inclusion of Global Positioning System on the Series 2 along with a completely revamped user interface have helped the company grow its presence. In other countries, Fitbit is challenged by lower cost competitors overseas.

The worldwide wearables market reached an all-time high in the last quarter, but there's some serious company pivoting going on, according to a new report. Garmin caters to a more dedicated fitness audience and this has worked well as many of its users began to graduate from simpler fitness trackers to more sophisticated and expensive sport watches like those offered in the Fenix line. Outside of watches, Samsung's portfolio also includes the Gear Fit 2 and the Icon X, though without any smartphone bundles, volumes for these wearables were lower than expected.

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