Apple Watch retakes lead of wearables market, Xiaomi second

Wearables market share in Q3 2017. Image Canalys

But wireless carriers may have underestimated demand and the LTE-capable model could prove more popular in coming quarters, Canalys analyst Jason Low said.

Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially risky situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply.

The only official metric that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) disclosed about Apple Watch during last quarter's earnings release was that the smartwatch enjoyed "unit growth of over 50% for the third consecutive quarter".

For the July through September quarter, Canalys estimates Cupertino shipped 3.9 million Apple Watch units. Xiaomi and Fitbit trailed Apple with 3.6 and 3.5 million units, mostly consisting of fitness bands. In the third-quarter, Apple reportedly shipped about 800,000 units of the cellular-enabled variant, according to Canalys. Nobody's streaming video to such a small screen.

Though third quarter is the weakest period for the sales of wearable devices, top manufacturers gained huge in Q3 2017.

With holiday sales starting soon, the year 2017 is expected to be record-breaking for Apple's wearable division.

Apple's smartwatch ads are full of feel-good stories about how the wearable changes people's lives for the better, mainly on the physical activity side of the everyday spectrum, but this next story is something else, and forced even Tim Cook to react.

The Mac maker uses a unique definition for wearables and includes wireless headphones like AirPods and BeatsX as well as Apple Watch. Huawei nabbed a fourth-place spot with 6 percent of the total wearable shipments, while Samsung held steady at 5 percent.

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Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple.