Mi Band 6 helps Xiaomi edge Apple for global lead in wearable band devices

Mi Band 6 helps Xiaomi edge Apple for global lead in wearable band devices
During the month of June, the top smartphone manufacturer in the world was SamsungApple Xiaomi. The latter scooped up 17.1% of the global market during the month followed by Samsung with a 15.7% slice of the worldwide smartphone pie. Apple was third with 14.3% of the market.

Mi Band 6 puts Xiaomi at the top of the wearable bands market

How did Xiaomi get to the top of the handset world? The U.S. war against Huawei is one huge factor; Huawei could have been the number one smartphone vendor in the world right now had the Chinese manufacturer not ended up branded a national security threat in the states. Xiaomi also kicked butt in Europe and has been using its money-for-value approach to take over in India.

Not only is Xiaomi on top of the smartphone market, but it is now also on top of the wearable band market as well thanks to the launch of the Mi Band 6. According to Canalys, during the second quarter of this year, Xiaomi delivered eight million wearable band devices (up 2.6% year-over-year) which edged out the 7.9 million shipped by Apple (up 29.4% on an annual basis). The market share battle was also close as Xiaomi's 19.6% edged out Apple's 19.3% share.

Third place belonged to the beleaguered Huawei. The firm shipped 3.7 million wearable band units during the April-June period which was down a huge 53.9% from the second quarter one year ago leaving it with a 9.2% market share down from the 21% it garnered during the second quarter of 2020. Fitbit, now owned by Google parent Alphabet, finished in fourth place after shipping 3 million wearable bands during the second quarter for a 7.3% market share, up 20.6% year-over-year.

Samsung's 2.5 million shipments and 6.1% market share placed it fifth despite a surging 114.1% annual gain. Overall, 40.9 million wearable band units shipped in the quarter. That was up 5.6% compared to the number that was delivered during the second quarter of 2020. Canalys Research Analyst Cynthia Chen said, "Xiaomi made a wise move to hasten the release of the Mi Band 6, which is a more compelling device than its predecessor. Xiaomi’s quick pivot to basic watches also helped the company boost its wristwatch shipments by 1.3 million units this quarter."

Looking specifically at smartwatch shipments, Apple remained on top thanks to the most popular timepiece in the world, the Apple Watch. The aforementioned 7.9 million units shipped by Apple during the quarter gave the tech giant a 31.1% share of the smartwatch market during the second quarter of 2021. While shipments of the Apple Watch were up 29.4% year-over-year, the company's market share declined from the 33.1% it collected during the same quarter last year.

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Huawei came in second after shipping 2.3 million watches during the quarter, good enough for 9% of the market. Huawei lost over half of its Q2 2020 market share of 18.9% while shipments declined by 33.9%. With 1.9 million watches delivered from April through June, Garmin came in third place with a 7.6% slice of the pie. Samsung was next as its watch shipments added up to 1.8 million, up 84.7% year-over-year giving Samsung 7% of the global smartwatch market.

The Apple Watch remains the top smartwatch in the world

Xiaomi saw its smartwatch shipments soar by 272.6% helping it take fifth place in the global smartwatch shipping tables with 1.5 million units delivered (compared to only 400,000 during the same quarter last year). That gives it 5.7% of the worldwide smartwatch market.

Overall, 25.4 million smartphones were shipped during this year's second quarter, up 37.9% from the 18.4 million shipped during the second quarter of 2020. Canalys Research Manager Jason Low said, "Vendors are attempting to make a big generational leap in smartwatch technologies. To stand out, they are improving the fundamentals, such as user experience and battery life, creating their own distinct UIs and leveraging their respective ecosystems to draw out new and unique use cases"

But Low notes that health-tracking remains the number one feature for smartwatch users. He says that "The ability to deliver cutting-edge health-tracking features and to offer users meaningful data and actionable health insights will set winners and losers apart."

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