Apple Watch still holds top smartwatch sales spot, even with short Series 2 availability

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited October 2016
In a smartwatch market challenged by low demand and new product release timing, Apple continues to hold the top spot for quarterly sales in the segment, despite not shipping the Series 1 and 2 until the last two weeks of the reporting period.




According to research firm IDC, in the third quarter all smartwatch vendors combined shipped 2.7 million units -- just 48.4 percent of the year-ago quarter. Apple held 41.3 percent of sales, coming in at 1.1 million units.

Garmin held the second spot with around 600,000 units shipped, and Samsung placed third at 400,000. The data has limited impact from the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2, or discounted sales of the original Apple Watch. The market may also be hamstrung by Google not releasing Android Wear 2.0 as of yet.

In the third quarter of 2015, Apple sold around 3.9 million Apple watches, even with limited retail availability at the time.




"Apple revealed a new look and feel to watchOS that did not arrive until the launch of the second generation watch at the end of September," said IDC. "Google's decision to hold back Android Wear 2.0 has repercussions for its OEM partners as to whether to launch devices before or after the holidays. Samsung's Gear S3 ... has yet to be released. Collectively, this left vendors relying on older, aging devices to satisfy customers."

According to release day statistics, a sizable chunk of Apple Watch Series 2 pre-orders went to customers who own the original Apple Watch, while millennials replaced Gen-X as the largest buyer demographic. Millennials were the largest pre-order group over the four-day sample period, accounting for 39 percent of initial Series 2 purchases.

Women accounted for 26 percent of pre-orders of the 2016 Apple Watch lineup, up from 20 percent with the original Apple Watch. Early adopters appear to be gravitating toward larger Series 2 model, with 66.6 percent of buyers opting for the 42mm version instead of 38mm variants.

Apple announced Apple Watch Series 2 at a special event in September. The wearable is externally similar to its predecessor, but contains internal improvements including a faster dual-core processor, GPS radio, brighter display, larger battery, and water resistance down to 50 meters.

For the latest pricing and current availability on Apple Watch Series 2 models, please visit our Apple Watch Price Guide.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,747member
    Seems like they are near dominating the entirety of the watch market. I assume by next Summer they will have taken the first place spot from Rolex Group.
    cali
  • Reply 2 of 27
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,908member
    I think the Apple Watch is now a good product and I hope Apple sticks with it. The original had some problems that might have damaged the brand, but I think those problems have been fixed. Hopefully people will give it a second look. 

    The main problem was the OS. It's a shame that WatchOS 3 couldn't have shipped with the original hardware. WatchOS 3 is such a radical improvement over the original. Offhand, I cannot think of any software update that has ever brought such massive performance improvements to a computer-like device. The improvement in the logic of the UI is also very substantial.

    The other problem was that they went a bit too far in marketing and pricing the Apple Watch as a luxury watch. Most people are not going to pay luxury watch prices for a product that is obsolete in two years, unless there's an upgrade path. Now we know that there was no upgrade path -- Apple actually expected people to spend $500+ on a new watch every two years. That's not going to happen. They seem to now have mostly fixed the marketing and pricing. 
    albegarc
  • Reply 3 of 27
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,908member
    sog35 said:
    blastdoor said:
    I think the Apple Watch is now a good product and I hope Apple sticks with it. The original had some problems that might have damaged the brand, but I think those problems have been fixed. Hopefully people will give it a second look. 

    The main problem was the OS. It's a shame that WatchOS 3 couldn't have shipped with the original hardware. WatchOS 3 is such a radical improvement over the original. Offhand, I cannot think of any software update that has ever brought such massive performance improvements to a computer-like device. The improvement in the logic of the UI is also very substantial.

    The other problem was that they went a bit too far in marketing and pricing the Apple Watch as a luxury watch. Most people are not going to pay luxury watch prices for a product that is obsolete in two years, unless there's an upgrade path. Now we know that there was no upgrade path -- Apple actually expected people to spend $500+ on a new watch every two years. That's not going to happen. They seem to now have mostly fixed the marketing and pricing. 
    Whoever designed the original OS for the Watch should be fired.
    Yes it was that horrible.

    The whole point of Apple marketing it as a luxury was for public perception. The biggest obstacle for wearbles is social acceptance. We saw that when the Google Glass came out. People were outraged. So how do you make something socially acceptable to wear? Push hard with fashion and luxury. And that is what Apple did.

    I'll be honest. 18 months ago I was not comfortable wearing a smartwatch because of the social akwardness. But today? With Apple's push in luxury, sports, and fashion its as normal as having an iPhone. Mission accomplished. 

    You may say they went too far pushing fashion/luxury. But maybe if they didn't then smartwatches would still be seen as a tech nerd toy. Its amazing that in 18 months Apple has been able to change the entire perspective of the mass market regarding smartwatches. And alot of that has too do with the strong emphasis on fashion and luxury.
    I agree that there needs to be a strong fashion/luxury component to the marketing for exactly the reasons you site. And maybe it is better to err on the side of going too far rather than not far enough. But I think they've got the low-end pricing right now, so I think they've fixed that. 

    Regarding the original OS.... yeah. It's almost as if the person running that project would have put Adobe Flash on iPhones. 
    cali
  • Reply 4 of 27
    dougddougd Posts: 235member
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    stevehtyler82cropr
  • Reply 5 of 27
    As far as the Watch OS goes what's radically different other than replacing the 'friends' side button with an app switcher and combining glances with it? Yes the improvement in app load times is great but that was more about being ultra conservative with battery life than a fundamental flaw in the OS concept. I don't see watchOS 3 and a radical change but incremental improvements based on how people were using the device.

    And actually one thing I don't like about it is in some places they got rid of force touch and replaced it with swipes. Previously you would force touch to end a workout. Now you swipe right. I would have preferred if they left force touch but added the other as just another option. Some people don't like but I personally love it, just like I love 3D Touch and the haptic feedback on iPhone.
    randominternetpersoncali
  • Reply 6 of 27
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,869member
    Sales would jump dramatically if there were a couple of compelling non-fitness benefits or apps, just like with the first iPhones. People already had phones for talking and primitive texting. These days we already have plenty of ways to tell time. Now we need other reasons to buy a watch.
    edited October 2016 calijony0
  • Reply 7 of 27
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,679member
    1 MM Apple watches is considered a failure while 1 million Surfaces or Echos is considered a Success by analysts. 
    badmonkslprescottbb-15caliwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Top Five Smartwatch Vendors, Shipments, Market Share and Year-Over-Year Growth, 3Q 2016

    WTF does that even mean? Market share is the number of actual devices purchased/still in use. Shipments do not equal market share. This is particularly true in tech and has been shown to be self-evident by the numerous write downs taken by large tech companies over the last few years with their pathetic attempts to unseat Apple. Yep, they shipped a lot of units ... that sat on the shelf gaining dust until they were ultimately returned or destroyed, or in Samsung's case given away on BOGO type deals.

    So let me get this straight. In other product categories they use Apple's actual reported sales numbers vs the competitions shipped numbers in addition to the nebulous "Other" category which can be pretty much whatever they want to skew the narrative towards their paying clients desires. Even then they often have to portray it as Apple against the entire industry (IOS vs Andriod) or an defined Apple product vs. anything remotely comparable (smartwatch vs anything that can be worn over a wrist ... evening gloves?).  Apple does not report Apple Watch numbers so IDC has no actual sales numbers on any of the companies, they have more or less questionable shipped numbers from the different vendors (nothing from Apple), which again makes determining market share super accurate. The sad thing is, I can't tell if this IDC report being entirely devoid of any factual sale numbers might somehow make it more accurate than what they normally put out?
    edited October 2016 calibrucemcwonkothesanewatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 27
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    mike1 said:
    Sales would jump dramatically if there were a couple of compelling non-fitness benefits or apps, just like with the first iPhones. People already had phones for talking and primitive texting. These days we already have plenty of ways to tell time. Now we need other reasons to buy a watch.
    I still think they're prices too high. Drop them $50-$75 and there's less hesitation in buying one.

    Although many of the higher cost ones are a result of the ridiculously priced bands.  
  • Reply 10 of 27
    dougddougd Posts: 235member
    sog35 said:
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    smartphones? 

    interesting. Still using VCR's, flip phones, and CD's I see.
    I don't own a VCR or use CD's but I surely don't need a watch that tells me what is happening on my iPhone
  • Reply 11 of 27
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,747member
    dougd said:
    sog35 said:
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    smartphones? 

    interesting. Still using VCR's, flip phones, and CD's I see.
    I don't own a VCR or use CD's but I surely don't need a watch that tells me what is happening on my iPhone
    Did you have the same argument agaisnt smartphones when your Mac/WinPC could also tell you what is happening?
    calinolamacguywatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 12 of 27
    dougddougd Posts: 235member
    Soli said:
    dougd said:
    sog35 said:
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    smartphones? 

    interesting. Still using VCR's, flip phones, and CD's I see.
    I don't own a VCR or use CD's but I surely don't need a watch that tells me what is happening on my iPhone
    Did you have the same argument agaisnt smartphones when your Mac/WinPC could also tell you what is happening?
    That's a stupid comparison 
  • Reply 13 of 27
    ronmgronmg Posts: 163member
    sog35 said:
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    smartphones? 

    interesting. Still using VCR's, flip phones, and CD's I see.
    Oh, I thought dougd was referring to himself!!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,747member
    dougd said:
    Soli said:
    Did you have the same argument agaisnt smartphones when your Mac/WinPC could also tell you what is happening?
    That's a stupid comparison 
    And, yet, there were countless people saying that the iPhone was dumb as you can do everything the iPhone can do and better with a "real" computer. The same thing for the iPad 3 years later. Your comments make me think that you were one of these people.
    edited October 2016 calinolamacguybrucemcwatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 15 of 27
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    dougd said:
    Soli said:
    dougd said:
    sog35 said:
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    smartphones? 

    interesting. Still using VCR's, flip phones, and CD's I see.
    I don't own a VCR or use CD's but I surely don't need a watch that tells me what is happening on my iPhone
    Did you have the same argument agaisnt smartphones when your Mac/WinPC could also tell you what is happening?
    That's a stupid comparison 
    No, he hit the nail on the head perfectly.
    brucemcSoliwatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 16 of 27
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    you're talking about a cell phone, right? the device that the watch is an accessory to and which requires daily charging...
    calibrucemcSoliwatto_cobraflashfan207
  • Reply 17 of 27
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,527member
    Many still make fun of Apple's focus on fashion, as though it was superfluous nonsense. But that is a techie view that doesn't have a clue about the market. The fashion aspect of Apple Watch was critical - not the gold Edition model - but the design focus on bands, finishes, polish, customization, and the marketing. It was feature number 1. If you can't get enough people to wear it long term, then all another features are irrelevant. This was the problem with previous smart watches and fitness bands. 

    Apple let seems to have accomplished that - I see more in the wild every month, and I have never had any concerns wearing mine for any occasion. Now of course other vendors will benefit from Apples break through in that area for smart watches, but that is the way it goes. Apple will own the top 20% with the most valuable customers long term (higher in the next few years). 
    caliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 27
    dougd said:
    sog35 said:
    dougd said:
    A useless contraption that needs daily charging
    smartphones? 

    interesting. Still using VCR's, flip phones, and CD's I see.
    I don't own a VCR or use CD's but I surely don't need a watch that tells me what is happening on my iPhone

    YOUR personal needs don't change the reality of the Apple Watch's performance in the smartwatch segment, and moreover its significance in terms of wearable tech. 

    You've provided the forum with a personal anecdote. Which is fine, but it means next to nothing. 
  • Reply 19 of 27
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 412member
    Actually, the numbers tell us that smartwatches are a flop.
    Apple dropping over 70% bound to loose their whatever place on whatever ranking
  • Reply 20 of 27
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,747member
    blitz1 said:
    Actually, the numbers tell us that smartwatches are a flop.
    If smartwatches are a flop then traditional watches are a flop.
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