More than 100M people wear an Apple Watch, analyst says

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited February 12
Apple Watch crossed an important threshold in December when the wearable hit an installed user base of 100 million people, according to statistics compiled by analyst Neil Cybart.




In research published to his website Above Avalon on Thursday, Cybart estimates Apple Watch adoption is accelerating, with some 30 million users embracing the platform in 2020. That figure almost surpasses the number of new Apple Watch users in 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

"At 100 million users, the Apple Watch is Apple's fourth-largest product installed base behind the iPhone, iPad, and Mac. At the current sales trajectory, the Apple Watch installed base will surpass the Mac installed base in 2022," Cybart says. "Surpassing the iPad installed base will take longer and likely be measured in a number of years based on the current sales trajectory."

The analyst sees four key factors driving Apple Watch growth: scalable form factor, utility of a wrist-worn wearable, cool factor, and the Apple ecosystem.

Apple Watch 2020


The product still has room to grow, with the analyst estimating only 10% of all iPhone users also own an Apple Watch. That percentage was pegged at 35% in the U.S. at the end of 2020, a "shockingly strong" rate of adoption which, if applied on a global scale, would give Watch an installed base above 350 million people.

Cybart argues that Apple could easily address a vastly larger market by opening Apple Watch to non-iPhone owners, a scenario in which a 10% adoption rate would equate to 350 million users.

Apple last year expanded Apple Watch's reach with Family Setup, a feature that allows children and older adults to set up a current model cellular Apple Watch using a family member's iPhone. Each provisioned Watch gets its own phone number and attached account, while iPhone owners have a bevy of monitoring and control tools at their disposal including location notifications.

Apple most recently updated its wearable with Apple Watch Series 6 in 2020, adding a blood oxygen sensor, faster processor and new case colors to the line. A more affordable Apple Watch SE launched in tandem, incorporating elements of the Series 6 with components from past models like the Retina Display of Apple Watch Series 4.

While Apple no longer breaks out category sales numbers, the company recorded record profits of $12.97 billion in its Wearables, Home, and Accessories segment during the first fiscal quarter of 2021. That figure was up from $10.1 billion recorded in the year prior.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 874member
    Well, so much for Apple Watch being a sleeper product that only a few people would actually use.
    chasmlkruppStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,322member
    People chronically underestimate the popularity of products like the Apple Watch, the HomePod, and the Apple TV because they aren't seen the most popular in most cases (and Apple does not release sales figures). This estimate by Cybart is certainly closer to right than anything the likes of Wall Street and morons like IDC and Gartner can pull out of their butts, but it is still an estimate (and likely based on the premise that all Apple Watch owners have upgraded at least once).

    In total I'm sure more cheap crappily-made Fitbits have been sold in total, certainly more cheap spyware smart speakers have been sold, and undoubtedly the Apple TV is nearly the lowest-selling streamer box (the Fire Stick has a wide reputation for being terrible even by the standards of cheap sticks, so I'm assuming it doesn't sell well despite Amazon practically giving them away). But all of these products sell far more than enough to justify their continuance, all of them strengthen the overall Apple ecosystem, and most importantly people who own these products tend to love them quite strongly.

    ISTR that Tim once said (a couple-three years ago, IIRC) the Apple TV sells about 20ish million a year, with little variance from one quarter to the next (except, of course, for Christmas). If that's still true, then the Apple TV is about as popular as the Mac, which generally averages around 5-6M units per quarter. It's no iPhone, but it's doing well, and clearly the Apple Watch is doing even better. The HomePod is likely to be the least popular of these three, but now with the HomePod mini sales included that could easily change.

    I suspect the HomePod (full size) sells around 5-6M a year and rising, now that it can be used as a superb (and relatively cheap) soundbar for Apple TV. This is a guess based on estimates of around 3.8M units in 2018, and based on lowering of the average selling price since then. The addition of "dolby atmos" like ability to a pair of full-size HomePods make it one of the cheaper ways (even having to buy two of them) to get that kind of effect, so that's not going to hurt sales, and again that's not counting how well the HomePod mini has likely done. Word of mouth is a powerful sales motivator that is chronically under-accounted for by Wall Street, and nobody's got better word-of-mouth than Apple.
    gregoriusmStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Thing that pisses me off, is people keep saying:

    "Apple is continually looking the NeXT big thing..."
    "The HAVE to come up with that NeXT NEW hot thing!"
    "...and if the don't"

    It's like FOOLS, they have Watch plus AirPods.  That's enough, but they also have, iPads.  To boot they just released Apple Silicon.  To me it's like:

    Watch
    AirPods
    iPads
    and little mac...  Those four EQUAL iPhones.  

    if you look at the latest financials, it's pretty much a 50% 50% split, especially if you throw in Services...

    Laters...

    gregoriusmStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    JWSC said:
    Well, so much for Apple Watch being a sleeper product that only a few people would actually use.
    Actually the Apple Watch is a "sleeper product" after all, as I use it to track my sleep.
    It's also an "electrifying product" as it measures my ECG.
    It's also a "passionate product" as it measures my heart rate.
    And it's a "bloody good" product, as it measures my blood oxygen level.
    JWSCStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    “… all of them strengthen the overall Apple ecosystem”. This. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 12
    ...Only 10% ....
    That's sad -- because the Apple Watch -- particularly with LTE is such an incredibly incredible product.

    The trouble is that it's not an easy sell.  In fact, it's a hard sell because it's appeal is not typically one clear thing that you can point to.  Rather, it's appeal is really in the cumulative effect of a bunch of little things that it does.   I now rely on its easy little timer that I access directly through the watch face and I use it several times each day.  But that is just one of many features & functions of the watch that I use and that make my life better.   Significantly better.

    But, there are two functions that could be stand out features but are often overlooked:  Safety:
    -- The ability to make and receive calls means I can call for help anytime, anywhere -- even if I fall & break something at 2:00am
    --  Fall detection (along with water resistance) means the Apple Watch has gone above and beyond all those "I've fallen devices people wear around their necks.    Every senior needs to have one.
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 12
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,451member
    I wonder how they measure.  I have an Apple Watch but it hasn't bheen on my wrist for months, and I have no intention of buying another one.  I imagine that's a minority opinion, but sales and user base are a different thing.
    ralphie
  • Reply 8 of 12
    For Apple investors, I highly recommend subscribing to Above Avalon   Neil publishes a truckload of throughout pieces covering a wide range of all things Apple, including installed base projections by product category such as the Apple Watch.  

    Cost is $20/month or $200/yr  
    edited February 12 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Cybart estimates Apple Watch adoption is accelerating, with some 30 million users embracing the platform in 2020. 
    Yeah, and I'm two of them  :D
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    fred1fred1 Posts: 729member
    My wife says I’m one in a million. I guess I’m really one in a hundred million!  :D
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,218member
    “… all of them strengthen the overall Apple ecosystem”. This. 
    I had to chuckle.  I agree with you, the Apple eco system just amazing.  I chuckled because not that long ago, PC and Android users called the exact same thing the Apple Walled Garden and meant it as a pejorative.
    edited February 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 12
    MacPro said:
    “… all of them strengthen the overall Apple ecosystem”. This. 
    I had to chuckle.  I agree with you, the Apple eco system just amazing.  I chuckled because not that long ago, PC and Android users called the exact same thing the Apple Walled Garden and meant it as a pejorative.

    Like roses, it has beauty and it has thorns.  But most believe it has more beauty than thorns
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