Following the release of the Apple Watch Series 3, including an LTE-enabled model, Apple returned to the top of the global wearables market in the fourth quarter of 2017. Having shipped 8 million smartwatches between October and December, Apple leapfrogged Fitbit and Xiaomi, ranked second and third for the quarter, respectively.
According to IDC’s latest estimates, Apple also took the crown for the largest wearables brand of 2017, thanks to its strong performance in the holiday quarter. Apple shipped 17.7 million watches in the past year, up from just 11.3 million units in 2016.
Apple’s return to the top was helped by the weakness of 2016’s market leader Fitbit. In the process of transitioning from affordable fitness trackers to more expensive smartwatches, Fitbit’s shipments declined by more than 30 percent in 2017, causing the company’s stock price to crater following its latest earnings report.