A new report from IDC estimates that the Apple Watch continues to the best-selling smartwatch with about 40% marketshare but barely scrapes into the 5 top selling wearables list with 1.1 million unit sales, as the market is dominated by cheap fitness bands, a trend seen since the beginning of this year.
Apple’s wearable was outsold by rising fitness tracker sales from Fitbit, Xiaomi and Garmin. Apple was the only vendor to see a drop in sales compared to last year; Apple is predicted to have sold 71% fewer Apple Watches in the third quarter of this year than what it achieved in the same period in 2015.
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Falling sales figures is not a reassuring thing to hear given Q3 was also the Apple Watch Series 2 launch quarter; Apple improved on the original watch with a faster processor, waterproofing, GPS and a brighter display.
It is possible that some Apple Watch buyers were waiting for the new models to drop, Series 2 watches weren’t sold until late in September, and failed to secure a device due to lack of stock. Regardless, a sales drop of 70% is not good news for the product line. Apple secured 4.9% of the wearables market; Fitbit is the market leader with 23% share.
Looking just at smartwatches, Apple Watch continues to take the #1 sport with about 40% marketshare. Garmin is in the #2 spot, according to IDC, with low-end products like the ‘Garmin vivoactive’. Apple’s fierce rival in the smartphone space, Samsung, takes third in the smartwatch industry. Apple has seen its share eroded gradually over the last year; in Q3 2015, it was dominated with 70% smartwatch marketshare.
Apple rectified many of the common complaints with its wearable in the new hardware, Apple Watch Series 2, and the new software, watchOS 3, but it will take time for those improvements to filter into the minds of consumers.
It’s worth remembering that Apple does not officially report Apple Watch sales numbers so these figures are all based off IDC analyst estimates, so there is a chance they are way off-base. Investors can only glean official updates on Watch sales indirectly through Apple’s reporting of revenue from its Other Products business which includes Watch, Beats, iPod and more.
Eyes are on the lucrative holiday period for Apple Watch sales as many analysts believe it is a product with strong seasonality, meaning that Apple picks up most of its sales in the Christmas gift period.