You may not have heard of them, but you’re quite possibly wearing their products. According to a new International Data Corporation press release, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi is responsible for about 25 percent of the wearables in today’s market. And considering the phenomenal and consistent growth the industry has seen, a quarter slice of the pie isn’t too shabby for this relative newcomer to the game.
Xiaomi released its first product, a $13 fitness band called the Mi Band, in July of 2014. With its low price point and considerable functionality (a 30-day battery life, and it’s waterproof), it quickly became a popular item. It is estimated that since its launch, Xiaomi has sold some 2.8 million of these devices, which has significantly impinged on Fitbit, Garmin, Samsung, and Jawbone sales. Talk about an underdog story.
Xiaomi’s popularity is also likely due to its large presence in China, which presents a huge market of opportunity, and all the more so for Chinese brands. And with its compatibility with the Xiaomi smartphone, the Mi Band is something of a cheap alternative to Apple’s iPhone and Apple Watch combination.
When the Mi Band was first introduced, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun spoke of high hopes for its future, including making the device a one-stop key, allowing it to unlock your door or your car, or turn on your washing machine or your lights at home. While these latest features have yet to be introduced, the already phenomenal popularity of the band certainly makes for a bright future.
Still, whether Xiaomi and the Mi Band can unseat major frontrunner Apple and the sleek Apple Watch remains to be seen. The IDC did not include the Apple product on their lists as sales figures had yet to be released, but it is expected that The Fruit will reign supreme once again once its numbers can be entered on the tally sheet.
Still, Xiaomi can maintain bragging rights for beating out huge players that have occupied the space for much longer and with many more products.
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