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The Apple Watch has been taken over by this key rival – and it’s not Samsung

 Xiaomi is quickly catching up to Apple as the world’s most popular wearable manufacturer, according fresh research.

The research was collected by the International Data Corporation and published on Friday (UK time). It shows that the Xiaomi Mi Band already having surpassed the Apple Watch as the most sold wrist-worn device.

The market intelligence provider reported that Xiaomi sent out over six million shipments of wearables this quarter including five million of the Xiaomi Mi Band. The manufacturer accounts for 13.3% of the market share, beating out Huawei, Samsung and Fitbit for the runner up position  a 68.2% increase from last year.

Read our review of the Xiaomi mi Band 3

Huawei is close behind with 5 million shipments this quarter, a massive 282.2% growth from last year. The success of Huawei’s wearables is largely credited to success of its smartphones, the two often found bundled together, however this leaves Huawei’s wearables future in question following an executive order from the US White House earlier this year. The order has caused numerous big name companies including Google to cut ties with Huawei leading to concerns about its ability to compete in the Western market.

Samsung has also been through a large growth covering sales of Gear and Galaxy watches and bands, Galaxy Buds and the more affordable JBL headphones again largely thanks to bundles sold with the Samsung Galaxy S10.

Unsurprisingly, Apple came out on top with its wearables  the Apple Watch, Airpods and Beats headphones  accounting for almost twice the shipments that Xiaomi completed.

Read our review of the Apple Watch 4

However, when it comes to wrist worn devices only, Xiaomi actually beat out Apple, the Mi Band taking a slightly higher percentage of the market than the Apple Watch.

This is significant as research director Ramon T. Llamas notes that wristwear continues to “dominate the wearables landscape”. Smart wristwear often focuses on health and fitness which resonates well with both users and health insurance companies. This is why, despite coming out fifth, Fitbit continues to grow and surpass its competitors in the healthcare market.

Related: Best Smartwatch 2019

For now, Apple still owns the majority of the market thanks to the popularity of its headphones combined with Apple Watch sales.

According to the report, the elimination of headphone jacks and the rise of smart assistants have been “driving factors in the growth of ear-worn wearables”, both areas that Apple have made major strides in over the past handful of years and will doubtlessly continue to grow in in the future.

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