Apple Watch 'clear market leader' in quickly growing smartwatch market, report says

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited February 13
The U.S. smartwatch market expanded drastically during 2018, according to a new report from NDP that crowns Apple the undisputed market leader.

Apple Watch Series 4
Apple Watch Series 4


The NDP report covers a 12-month period that ran through November of 2018 and shows total unit sales of smartwatches up 61 percent year over year. Corresponding dollar sales were up as well, jumping 51 percent over the same period. That equates to nearly $5 billion in sales, the firm said.

While NDP said Apple is the "clear market leader," sales of devices manufactured by Samsung and Fitbit are also outpacing the rest of the industry. The top three smartwatch makers combined account for 88 percent of the total market. Rankings might change in 2019 as small fashion and fitness-focused brands such as Fossil and Garmin angle to enlarge their piece of the pie.

In the U.S., 16 percent of adults now own a smartwatch, up from 12 percent in December 2017. With a 23 percent ownership rate, NDP credits the younger 18-year-old to 34-year-old market with pushing overall growth, but notes heart health features like those included in Apple Watch Series 4 could significantly boost smartwatch popularity in the older demographic in 2019.

Smart homes were also popular for users, with 15 percent of watch owners saying they use the devices to control their homes and automated devices.

"Over the last 18 months, smartwatch sales gained strong momentum, proving the naysayers, who didn't think the category could achieve mainstream acceptance, had potentially judged too soon," said NPD Connected Intelligence director Weston Henderek.

Apple does not break out Apple Watch sales, but during its most recent investor conference call said revenue from "wearables, home and accessories" products reached $7.3 billion., up 33 percent year-on-year. CEO Tim Cook recently commented on the wearable sector's explosive growth over the past few quarters, saying category revenue is already more than 50 percent above iPod's all-time high.

"[I]f you take AirPods and the Watch separately, and you sort of back these up and align it to the launch date of iPod, as well, where all of them have a comparable amount of time, you would find that each one independently is four to six times ahead of where iPod was at a comparable period of time," Cook said.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Anyone who used the other garbage in this category can easily tell you why. It overlaps with the iPads reasoning for dominating the market.
    lkrupplolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    Apple is clearly focused on the Apple Watch development. Each generation has made great strides in performance and elegance none more so than the latest fourth generation. I have been on the sidelines and haven’t purchased a watch but whenever I’m with friends using them the experience just blows me away. It’s just a matter of time.
    GeorgeBMacAppleExposedStrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    I was very unimpressed with the watch when first unveiled. 

    Now all all the improvements and upgrades made me take the plunge and it is a great life utility, especially if you all different kinds of exercises. not at all just a toy. 
    AppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    MisterKit said:
    Apple is clearly focused on the Apple Watch development. Each generation has made great strides in performance and elegance none more so than the latest fourth generation. I have been on the sidelines and haven’t purchased a watch but whenever I’m with friends using them the experience just blows me away. It’s just a matter of time.
    AppleInsider is listing Series 3 Apple Watches for $269.    So, you are waiting for what exactly?   :p
    AppleExposedlolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,216member
    It's always fun to go back and read posts from the launch of any new Apple product category be it the iPod, iPhone, iPad and now Watch.  Doomed, too late and so on.  AI should do the occasional Hall of Shame article reposting such posts just for laughs.
    edited February 13 RonnnieOrandominternetpersonAppleExposedStrangeDayslkruppkiltedgreenlolliveralbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    Came very close to getting AW4s for my wife and I last Christmas. Didn't pull the trigger because of the price (~$1200 for 2) but I'm leaning. 
    lolliveralbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 13
    jdgazjdgaz Posts: 356member
    I am on my 2nd watch (original and series 4). My wife and daughter both have one. Although we are not fitness nuts we do have weekly competitions to see who can get the most "points". Still not sure how a "point" is determined. but it is fun none the less, and we are all a bit healthier as a result.
    AppleExposedGeorgeBMaclolliveralbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 855unconfirmed, member
    tyler82 said:
    I was very unimpressed with the watch when first unveiled. 

    Now all all the improvements and upgrades made me take the plunge and it is a great life utility, especially if you all different kinds of exercises. not at all just a toy. 
    All Apple products are "toys" when first launched according to anti-Apple sites. Then after a while they just STFU!

    Also, notice the "why would I need one" meme is also dying?
    StrangeDayslolliverwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13

    Also, notice the "why would I need one" meme is also dying?
    But seriously, I don’t need one. Nevertheless, I find it very useful and I’m glad I bought it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    DAalseth said:
    Came very close to getting AW4s for my wife and I last Christmas. Didn't pull the trigger because of the price (~$1200 for 2) but I'm leaning. 
    Same here -- on both counts.
    It's why I've been thinking of upgrading to the Series 3 .   It's kind of the 80/20 rule where you get 80% of the benefit a far lower price.  Right now the only thing holding me back is a couple grand that I had to sink into my car kind of disrupted my plans.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    bonobob said:

    Also, notice the "why would I need one" meme is also dying?
    But seriously, I don’t need one. Nevertheless, I find it very useful and I’m glad I bought it.
    Most affordable luxury is like that — I don’t need seat warmers in my car, but it’s useful and I like having it. 
    bonobobwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,062member
    MacPro said:
    It's always fun to go back and read posts from the launch of any new Apple product category be it the iPod, iPhone, iPad and now Watch.  Doomed, too late and so on.  AI should do the occasional Hall of Shame article reposting such posts just for laughs.
    The greatest of all was the Steve Ballmer interview when the iPhone was introduced. His blathering about how the iPhone couldn’t be used for business because it didn’t have a keyboard is still today the quintessential example of Microsoft’s lack of vision and innovation. Those two words still don’t belong in any sentence that includes Microsoft. At least the Google engineers were more honest when, after seeing the iPhone, they realized they would have to start over on Android. 
    lolliveralbegarcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 13

    bonobob said:

    Also, notice the "why would I need one" meme is also dying?
    But seriously, I don’t need one. Nevertheless, I find it very useful and I’m glad I bought it.
    Most affordable luxury is like that — I don’t need seat warmers in my car, but it’s useful and I like having it. 
    Seat warmers are a nuisance luxury for me. In my climate, it’s generally like “why’s my butt so hot?”  Oops, I accidentally hit the warmer button. 

    On topic, there are a lot of things that are easier to do with the watch, and not all of them would I do on the phone if I didn’t have it. 
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