Few days ago, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun, posted on his Weibo account thrice in a row, celebrating the successful return of Xiaomi among the top 5 bestselling mobile phones globally. This was evident from 2 out of 3 different global sales statistics reports, marking a notable reprise of comeback from Xiaomi mobile. Today, Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, released yet another global sales ranking of wearable products, detailing the successful global sales of Mi Band. Throughout the second quarter of 2017, the sale of Mi Band ranked first worldwide with a sale count of 3.7 million units.
The report listed out the statistics of the top three rankings only:
Mi band sold 3.7 million units with a market share of 17.1%
The good old Fitbit sold 3.4 million units with a market share of 15.7%
Apple Watches sold 2.8 million units with a market share of 13%
To compare, we looked at an IDC report of global wearable product sales during the first quarter of 2017. During the first quarter, Xiaomi ranked first with a sales volume of 3.6 million units and a market share of 14.7%. Closely behind at number two is Apple Watches with the same sales volume and a market share of 14.6%, and finally Fitbit at number three, with a sales volume of 3 million units and a market share of 12.3%.
From the two reports, we can see that Mi Band sales during the second quarter grew steadily as estimated. What’s even more worth noting is Fitbit’s performance. From the statistics of 2016 during the same quarter, Fitbit sales dropped drastically. But the sales did in fact improve during the first two quarters of 2017.
The one performing the least ideal among the top three manufacturers this time, was Apple. After IDC’s first quarter report of 2017 was released, many thought that Apple will overtake Xiaomi during the second quarter, because after all, Apple was able to achieve an astonishing growth rate of 64.1% during the same quarter in 2016 even when Xiaomi experienced a decline. However, according to the report by Strategy Analytics, Apple’s performance clearly did not meet expectations and thus, Xiaomi was able to stay as the top manufacturer of wearable goods worldwide.
Wearable goods, as a part of the market of smart technology, is one that Xiaomi broke into early on. The Mi Band was released in July of 2017 with a low price of just 79 yuan. With that, Xiaomi successfully dominated the domestic market of smart technologies, knocking out other unknown manufacturers of smart bracelets easily, whose prices are much higher at a few hundred yuan. Xiaomi was able to dominate the market price-wise, becoming one of the most successful intelligent devices sold by the company.
It has been three years since the first generation of Mi band were released back in 2014. Including the light-sensitive first generations, Xiaomi has only launched three generations of the bracelet altogether, the most expensive of which is the Mi band 2 that’s priced at 149 yuan. All three generations were aimed at the entry-level market, similar to what Xiaomi has done with their mobile phones: Quickly expand the targeted market by offering the lowest price possible with as many functions as possible. This is a completely different marketing strategy compared to high-end brands such as Fitbit and APPLE Watches.
Xiaomi did in fact take a shot at breaking into the high-end market with another bracelet as well. The product—AMAZFIT just wasn’t released under the Xiaomi brand, but under another brand named Huami. Compared to the Mi band, however, AMAZFIT’s sports watch and its flagship design—Equator (black/white)—did not see the same level of success and found itself stuck in an awkward middle ground between their two predecessors: Xiaomi and Apple. AMAZFIT didn’t sell in great volumes as Xiaomi did with its successful Mi Band 2, and price-wise, it was way off from the expensive APPLE Watches in comparison as well.
Today, it’s been a year since the release of the Mi Band 2. If Xiaomi is looking to further expand its business throughout the market of wearable technology, it would need to turn its focus towards breaking into the high-end products market with a new product such as the Apple Watches and its current Xiaomi mobile phones, and not merely continue producing low-cost bracelets like the Mi Band 2.
This article originally appeared in 36kr and was translated by Pandaily.
Click here to read the original Chinese article.