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Apple Watch surges to top of global wearables market with 'market-beating growth'

Apple has jumped past Xiaomi to claim the top spot in wearables worldwide, and is on the cusp of a product refresh in the Apple Watch "Series 4" that should grow the lead even more.

According to the latest edition of the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearables Tracker, Apple shipped 4.7 million Apple Watches worldwide in Q2, making it the top wearable company in the world. Apple has a 17 percent market share, enough to overtake the previous leader, Xiaomi, who had 15.1 percent.

Fitbit came in third, with 9.5 percent, followed by Huawei and Garmin. Fitbit and other companies on the list make products in multiple wearable categories, whereas the Apple Watch is Apple's only wearable product.

IDC's Wearables tracker for Q2

Meanwhile, the overall wearable market grew 5.5 percent year-over-year, to 27.9 million units. But Apple grew even further, showing 38.4 percent year-over-year growth from the 3.4 million Watch shipments in the same quarter the year before to 4.7 million. Apple brought the cellular Apple Watch to several new countries, including Brazil, Mexico, and South Korea, in June.

"Apple maintained its position atop the wearables market with market-beating growth and continued demand for its LTE-enabled Watch," IDC said in the report. "This makes it a welcome addition to many telco channels worldwide. Now that the company has unveiled watchOS 5, it has also begun to chart out potential replacement cycles as the latest version of Apple's smartwatch platform will be compatible only with Series 1 and later."

The Apple Watch arrived in Brazil

A different survey released on August 31, from Counterpoint Research, looked more narrowly at the smart watch category. That found that Apple had 41 percent global market share for smart watches, 20 points more than the second-place brand, Fitbit.

The same survey also found that the Apple Series 1 was the most popular smart watch in the world, with Apple Series 3 coming in fourth. Apple is expected to unveil an updated Apple Watch at its "Gather Round" event on Sept. 12.