Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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Chinese companies are emerging leaders in global wearable computers industry

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(Photo : Getty Images/China Foto Press) Customers are seen waiting outside a Xiaomi experience store in Beijing, China. Xiaomi ended the third quarter of of 2015 with the third largest share of the global market for wearable computing devices. The BBK subsidiary XTC edged out Samsung to take the fifth largest share of the market during the same period.

Chinese technology companies Xiaomi Technologies and XTC have emerged as the biggest contenders to the current leaders of the global industry in wearable computing devices, according to a US-based market research organization.

The Massachuetts-based International Data Corporation (IDC) recently published an excerpt from a report on the industry's performance during the third quarter.  The report tracks the two companies managing a significant increase in their share of the market for "wearables" between July and September this year.    

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The Chinese technology company Xiaomi finished the quarter following closely behind Apple, the second largest manufacturer of wearable computing devices in the world, according to the report.  Another Chinese company, XTC, edged Samsung off its previous position and claimed the fifth largest share of the market during the same period.

The IDC reports that the wearables market has seen significant growth over the past few months, mainly on the backs of the two companies and consumers in China. 

Analysts see even more growth ahead.  They forecast a huge expansion in the market over the next ten years as devices like smart watches, fitness trackers and wearable infotainment technologies become more popular. 

In all, the market is expected to be worth around $34.6 billion by 2020.  By 2025, the value of that same market will have skyrocketed to $70 billion, according to the UK-based research firm, IDTechEx.   

"The early stages of the wearables market have led to tight competition among the leading vendors, and Chinese vendors have seized upon market momentum to grab market share," said Ramon Llamas, a research manager at the IDC.

Xiaomi's affordable Mi Band, a water-resistant fitness tracker that measures the wearer's steps and sleeping patterns, pushed overall market volumes higher in the third quarter.  Some 97 percent of the company's shipments of the product during the three-month period were sold in Chinese markets. 

The BBK subsidiary XTC meanwhile sold an estimated 700,000 units of its popular XTC Y01 -- a budget smart watch for kids that costs around $125 -- during the quarter.  The company sold more of this little device in China than Samsung did all of its wearables worldwide between July and September. 

The California-based Fitbit however still maintained its overall lead in the industry, relying on its Fitbit Charge and Fitbit Surge fitness trackers to command a 22.2 percent share of the global market for wearables in the third quarter.

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