Apple nudges out Xiaomi to retake global wearables lead

Media alert: Apple retakes the lead in the wearable band market in Q3 2017 | Canalys

However, it did mention during its latest results call that the wearable business, which includes Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats products, grew 75 percent year-over-year.

Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially unsafe situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply. Of those, 800,000 were likely Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular units. The company also released new WatchOS 4 for the Watch generations. This was ahead of 3.6 million fitness trackers and other basic wearables shipped by Xiaomi and 3.5 million by Fitbit.

For the July through September quarter, Canalys estimates Cupertino shipped 3.9 million Apple Watch units.

Apple has once again surged to the top of the global wearables market, forcing Xiaomi into second place.

The only thing holding Apple back was limited availability in some markets, Canalysis said. This meant overall wearable market shipments declined 2% to 17.3 million units, in what is traditionally a slow quarter as consumer hold off on purchases until the Christmas period. In most of the markets, only the Wi-Fi version of the Watch Series 3 is available.

Sales would have been even stronger if retailers had not underestimated demand.

Incidentally, this is the very same quarter where Google, which makes the Android Wear smartwatch platform to rival the Apple Watch, has been completely silent on the future of its smart watches. The Chinese government has now disabled the Apple Watch LTE access due to apparent security concerns, but the once the issue is resolved, Canalys expects strong demand from the Chinese buyers as well, according to 9to5mac.

Apple's smartwatch ads are full of feel-good stories about how the wearable changes people's lives for the better, mainly on the physical activity side of the everyday spectrum, but this next story is something else, and forced even Tim Cook to react.

At 9.53 a.m. EST, Apple shares were down 0.57% at $173.02.

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