The much awaited Xiaomi Smartwatch is debuting soon in the 2nd half of this year. The watch will be manufactured by the makers of path-breaking Mi Band, Huami under the name of Xiaomi in Q2 2016. Whereas, the event scheduled on May 10 will feature the brand new Xiaomi Mi Band 2, Mi Max smartphone and MIUI 8.
The haze surrounding the existence of Xiaomi’s smartwatch was cleared by Xiaomi’s co-founder and Vice President Liu De. In an event in Beijing, Liu has disclosed that Xiaomi’s smartwatch is ready. Xiaomi’s interest in wearable devices can be attributed to the success of Mi Band. The Chinese honcho recently released a smartwatch tagged at 299 Yuan ($46) for kids.
If the design leaks are to be believed, Xiaomi’s smartwatch will boast a metal rugged design with a round dial akin to Apple’s smartwatch. Apple had accused Xiaomi of copying their designs in the past.
Xiaomi’s Mi Band monthly sales has exceeded to 1 million in 2015 and annual sales exceeded 10 million units. The figure clearly portrays the strengthening market presence of Xiaomi in the wearable devices segment and now the company trails behind Apple and Fitbit only.
Xiaomi, which is also referred as the “Apple of China“, is also engrossed in electric bikes and self-balancing Robots aka Ninebot and instituting offline stores as well. Unlike its rival LeEco, Liu contradicted the rumours buzzing that Xiaomi may enter the automobile market.
Xiaomi Smartwatch: The Enthusiasm
Wearable market is a new machine to make money for tech giants. Ranging from smartwatches to Virtual Reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, the companies are trying their hand in everything. According to Angela McIntyre, Research Director at Gartner, Wearable devices are being marketed as a lifestyle trend and soon we would be seeing many of wearable devices becoming a part of our daily essentials.
The growth rate of the wearable devices market is skyrocketing, and according to Gartner, 322.69 million wearable devices are expected to be sold by 2017, up by 39% from 232.01 million in 2015. The growth would largely be driven by the increasing sales of Bluetooth headset, Smartwatch and Wrist Band. In 2015, 30.32 million units of smartwatch were sold globally and the number is slated to rise to an estimated 66.71 million units in 2017.
So, why the company like Xiaomi is more focused on Smartwatch instead of Bluetooth headset and wristband ? The answer lies in the following figures: Of the total projected sales revenue of $28.7 billion from wearable devices in 2016, Smartwatch will take the lion share. With approximated sales of $11.5 billion, the smartwatch will account for 62.5% of total wearable devices sales revenue in 2016. The smartwatch has the greatest revenue potential among all wearable devices as the sales will zoom to $17.5 billion in revenues by 2019.
The growing potential of smartwatch market can also be understood from the latest quarterly performance of Apple Watch. The Cupertino giant appeared enthralled with $2.19 billion revenue accounted by Apple Watch with a remarkable 29.6% YoY growth. Though, the total numbers of units sold were not disclosed by Apple but industry analysts believe Apple sold around 12 million to 13 million units of Apple Watch.
But not everything is going in Xiaomi’s favour. The company’s Smartwatch would apparently be powered by Android Wear, a version of Android OS developed for Smartwatch and Wearable Devices. A recent report by Juniper research highlights that the performance of Android Wear is substandard. Apple dominated the market with 52% smartwatch shipments in 2015, whereas Android Wear netted a tiny 10% of all the smartwatches sold in 2015. Android wear’s market share is astonishingly bleak considering the huge market share of Android smartphones globally, powering 85% of smartphones globally.
Xiaomi may glitter in the smartwatch market
Xiaomi is the biggest competitor of Apple in China and is constantly giving nightmares to the Cupertino giant. From the last two years, the Chinese behemoth has started spreading wings outside the home market. With 4.6% of global smartphone market share, Xiaomi is growing steadily and strengthening its global presence under the guidance of Hugo Barra, Vice President International, Xiaomi.
Xiaomi offers world class products at an affordable price which has ranked the company as the world’s most valued tech startup. With the growing influence in emerging Asian markets, especially India and Indonesia, as well as in African countries, Xiaomi could turn the table in its own favour by offering smartwatch at the jaw-dropping price. In 2015, Xiaomi made a strong debut in the wearable devices market with its pocket-friendly Mi Bands and this may be the one of the reasons why Xiaomi looks confident about the success of its upcoming smartwatch.