Overall the market for things-on-your-wrist-with-a-chip-in dipped 2 per cent, or 17.3 million units, in Q3, but Apple regained top spot, according to Canalys, thanks to the third generation Apple Watch.
Despite strong shipments, the Apple Watch Series 3 did not reach its full potential in Q3. The Apple Watch Series 3 was only available from the middle of September.
Overall, Canalys believes that Apple was the #1 wearable manufacturer for the quarter including both smartwatches and less-feature-rich smart fitness bands. It suffered limited availability as demand outstripped supply in major markets.
That must help, for Apple now ships a Watch for every seven iPhone 7 or 8 models it shifts, according to Canalys.
Jason Low added that "In China, customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country. Besides bringing in more stock, operators should work on improving their remote service provisioning systems to cater for the expected higher demand in Q4", said Low.
The new device, Apple's first that connects to the internet without being tethered to a smartphone, took the US mobile giant to 3.9 million shipments in the recent Q3 2017, according to new data from Canalys.
Smartphone makers Huawei and Samsung also make their own series of smartwatches, some of which are created to rival the Apple Watch, but have had to contend with 6% and 5% share, respectively. "Smartphone vendors must re-evaluate their respective smartwatch strategies to derive more value beyond smartphone growth". While health and fitness tracking features are something many buy a fitness band or a smartwatch for, there is also the aspect of the software, the ease of pairing with the phone, apps that can be run on the wearable and battery life which also constitutes a part of the buying decision.
Apple is once again the biggest selling producer of wearables after its third-generation Apple Watch, launched in September.