Samsung pips Xiaomi to grab 2nd spot in global wearables market

Seoul: Samsung Electronics took over Chinese brand Xiaomi to become the world’s second-largest vendor of wearable devices in the first quarter of the year, a report has showed, on the back of its wireless earbuds sales.

The South Korean tech giant moved ahead of China’s Xiaomi for the first time to take the runner-up spot with a market share of 11.8 percent, which was up 0.6 percentage point from a year earlier, according to the latest report from market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC).

At third place, Xiaomi was the only company among the top five brands to suffer an on-year decline in its wearable devices sales.

Xiaomi’s market share dropped to 9.7 percent from 13.3 percent from a year ago after its wearable shipments slipped 1.8 percent on-year to 10.2 million units, Yonhap news agency reported, quoting from the report.

Samsung shipped 11.8 million units of wearable products in the January-March period, up 35.7 percent from a year earlier.

“Driving its volumes higher has been its truly wireless earbuds, including the Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Buds+ and the most recent addition, the Galaxy Buds Pro,” IDC said.

“Also contributing to the company’s growth were earwear shipments from its JBL subsidiary with its mass-market and less expensive models. Meanwhile, the company’s smartwatches and wristbands sustained their growth, reaching new first quarter records,” it said.

Apple maintained its top position, but its market share dropped to 28.8 percent from 32.3 percent a year earlier as its sales growth was below the industry average.

The US tech titan shipped 30.1 million wearable devices in the first quarter, up 19.8 percent from a year earlier.

The worldwide wearables market grew 34.4 percent on-year to reach 104.6 million units in the first three months of 2021, the highest for any first quarter.

Another Chinese tech powerhouse, Huawei, ranked fourth with an 8.2 percent share, down from 8.4 percent a year earlier.

India-based BoAt took the fifth spot with a 2.9 percent share after its shipments more than quadrupled to 3 million units in the first quarter.

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