Apple Watch sales estimated around 1.5 million units during Q1 2016 made it the number one smartwatch, but the device continued to trail basic wearables from competitors Fitbit and Xiaomi. During the quarter both companies more than doubled Apple Watch sales, according to the latest data out today from industry watcher IDC.

IDC estimates that Apple sold 1.5 million units in Q1 of this year and notes the company introduced some post-holiday discounts on its Sport Watch model to help achieve that number.

The 1.5 million units made Apple Watch the number one selling smartwatch ahead of Samsung with 0.7 million units, Motorola with 0.4 million, and Huawei with 0.2 million. But it put Apple just behind basic wearables from FitBit with 4.8 million units shipped and Xiaomi with 3.7 million units shipped. IDC defines basic wearables as devices that don’t run third-party apps— Xiaomi, similar to Fitbit products, makes a simplistic fitness tracking wristband.


Apple Watch since its introduction last year has mostly settled into third position behind Fitbit and Xiaomi wearables. Last quarter, however, Apple managed to sell an estimated 4.1 million Apple Watch units making it number two behind Fitbit with 8.1 million units and ahead of Xiaomi with 2.7 million units.


But while lower sales compared to the holiday quarter are expected for most devices included in the report, FitBit and Xiaomi were able to experience  lower declines than Apple. IDC notes that Fitbit was helped by launches of its new Alta and Blaze devices (pictured above), which it says “resulted in million unit shipment volumes for each, pointing to a new chapter of fashion-oriented fitness trackers.”

As for Xiaomi:

Xiaomi supplanted Apple in 1Q16 and captured the number 2 position. The company expanded its line of inexpensive fitness trackers to include heartrate monitoring and also recently launched a kids’ watch to help parents track their children. It should be pointed out that its success is solely based on China, and expanding beyond its home turf will continue to be its largest hurdle.

At Apple’s recent earnings call, CEO Tim Cook hinted at lower sales in Q1 for Apple Watch, noting seasonality for the device is expected to be similar to iPod with stronger sales in the December holiday quarter. He also noted that Watch unit sales during its first year exceeded sales of iPhone during its first year, and that response has been great to newly introduced bands and price drops. 

While a next-generation Apple Watch isn’t expected until the fall, it does look like Apple has more designer partnerships in the works with photos of upcoming bands from Coach recently leaked.

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About the Author

Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s Logic Pros series.