Apple Watch Had Record Year With Estimated 18M Shipments in 2017, Topped Entire Swiss Watch Industry Last Quarter

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Not only did the Apple Watch just have its best quarter ever in terms of sales, but it also had a record-breaking year overall, capped off by topping shipments from the entire Swiss watch industry combined last quarter.


Apple Watch shipments topped an all-time high of 18 million units in 2017, according to estimated data from research firm Canalys, an over 50 percent increase compared to the roughly 12 million units Apple shipped in 2016.

Canalys claims that 48 percent of the shipments were the latest Apple Watch Series 3 models, while 52 percent were Series 2 or older models. Among the Series 3 models, around 13 percent of customers opted for an LTE-enabled model, while 35 percent of people were satisfied with the Wi-Fi and GPS version.

The keyword is estimated, since Apple doesn't actually reveal Apple Watch sales on a standalone basis. Instead, the device is grouped under Apple's expanding "Other Products" category, alongside the Apple TV, Apple Watch, accessories like AirPods and Beats, and as of next quarter, the HomePod.

Apple analysts, who closely examine the "Other Products" revenue and other clues to estimate Apple Watch sales, each have similar totals. Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled 17.4 million last year, while Horace Dediu of Asymco comes in at 17.7 million.

I am at 17.4 m for 2017. So consensus is this ballpark so safe to assume this range is correct. https://t.co/jB1JjxoVc9 - Ben Bajarin (@BenBajarin) February 6, 2018
Canalys estimates Apple Watch shipments at 18 million in 2017. My estimate has been 17.7 million. - Horace Dediu (@asymco) February 6, 2018

On an earnings call last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Watch had its best quarter ever during the final three months of 2017, with over 50 percent growth in revenue and units sold for the fourth quarter in a row, and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment that Apple tracks.

Cook added that sales of Apple Watch Series 3 models were also more than twice as high as Series 2 models in the year-ago quarter.

Interestingly, it appears that this growth has resulted in Apple Watch shipments coming in higher than all Swiss watch brands combined for the first time last quarter, according to IDC research director Francisco Jeronimo.? In other words, Apple is now the biggest watchmaker in the world.

For the first time, #Apple shipped more Apple Watches in 4Q2017, than the entire Swiss Watch Industry shipped watches! Apple is the biggest watch maker in the world #AppleWatch pic.twitter.com/G6M6TJ7uO2 - Francisco Jeronimo (@fjeronimo) February 4, 2018

The key takeaway here is that the Apple Watch continues to grow at an impressive rate as the device approaches its third anniversary in April. Apple Watch also remains the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin, and is now even giving the iconic Swiss watch industry a run for its money.

Article Link: Apple Watch Had Record Year With Estimated 18M Shipments in 2017, Topped Entire Swiss Watch Industry Last Quarter
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,749
2,630
East of Eden
I think the Series 3 AW is the iPhone 4 of the Watch line. It's the tipping point, where tech and functionality combine to make the product genuinely useful and attractive.

I think it's interesting that ~27% of Series 3 sales are LTE models. I'm not sure what I expected, but I'd say that's a pretty good rate for a first time feature that has a minimum $120/year charge in the U.S. (And yes, I know many S3 LTE owners haven't hooked theirs up yet - out of four S3 AWs in my family, only one has been connected to LTE so far.)
 

redman042

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2008
2,917
1,369
Makes sense. I’ve seen a lot of Apple Watches in the wild over the last year or so. It’s particularly popular with nurses, wait staff, and others who can’t look at their phones during the day.

In contrast, I see few Android watches.

Once again, most people underestimated Apple. The first gen watch certainly had some shortcomings, but what people forget is Apple goes all-in on their products and they keep improving until they get it right.
 

BMcCoy

macrumors 68000
Jun 24, 2010
1,600
3,169
Wow, impressive sales.

I don’t have the watch, and don’t see the benefits, but I can’t argue with the numbers. It’s a big success, and it’s growing. If the health side really accelerated (eg. Innovations in glucose monitoring etc) then I’ll take another look! :)
 

nfl46

macrumors 604
Oct 5, 2008
7,265
5,378
I'm not surprised. I see Apple Watches ALL the time now. I rarely see the SS, it is mainly the SG. Target has the Series 1 on sale for $179 right now.
 
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AJ5790

macrumors 6502
Jun 1, 2016
295
996
Phoenix
Looks like Jony Ive was right after all. (/s Boy, this will be a hugely popular comment around here. /s)
[doublepost=1517937824][/doublepost]
This can’t be accurate. It would mean all the MR posters who said that this product was terrible, useless, and failing to sell for the past three years would have been wrong. Inconceivable!
You keep using that word... ;)
 

Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
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Silicon Valley, CA
I think the Series 3 AW is the iPhone 4 of the Watch line. It's the tipping point, where tech and functionality combine to make the product genuinely useful and attractive.

I think it's interesting that ~27% of Series 3 sales are LTE models. I'm not sure what I expected, but I'd say that's a pretty good rate for a first time feature that has a minimum $120/year charge in the U.S. (And yes, I know many S3 LTE owners haven't hooked theirs up yet - out of four S3 AWs in my family, only one has been connected to LTE so far.)
Just a note here: the stainless steel model ONLY comes in LTE. A lot of buyers prefer it to the matte sport edition because it has the sapphire screen and is incredibly difficult to damage vs the sport edition. I suspect a lot of those units that remain unconnected to LTE never intended to use it at all.
 
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ani4ani

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
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UK
And the next stat will be more Apple Watches in land fill in 5 years than in the history of all Swiss watch makers.

A product that lasts generations swapped for a consumer trinket that last a few years at best.

But I guess that’s what folks want
 

lunarworks

macrumors 68000
Jun 17, 2003
1,972
5,203
Toronto, Canada
Makes sense. I’ve seen a lot of Apple Watches in the wild over the last year or so. It’s particularly popular with nurses, wait staff, and others who can’t look at their phones during the day.

In contrast, I see few Android watches.

Once again, most people underestimated Apple. The first gen watch certainly had some shortcomings, but what people forget is Apple goes all-in on their products and they keep improving until they get it right.
The only time I see Android watches are on people who look like tech enthusiasts. Apple definitely knew how to get the mainstream on board.
 

agsystems

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2013
1,029
912
I never though I would have any interest in this until my wife got me a Series 3. I cannot imagine ever getting along without it.
same here- my wife didn't want it one until it could replace her phone - already a life saver when she is in the gym and the few times she runs out of the house without her phone thinking that it is in her purse
 

cult hero

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,021
787
I love mine. Mind you I really enjoyed the S0, but the S3 is so much better and faster. When battery breakthroughs allow the AirPods/Watch to be a sufficient replacement for a smart phone all day, that’ll rule. (And I mean mainly as a phone, messaging, and music device. The form factor wouldn’t allow it to be a lot of other things.)

I haven’t bothered with LTE yet because at $120 a year... is it worth it right now? Dunno.

Anyway, these are great devices and until you spend some time with one they’re hard to explain because I don’t really find a single killer feature rather than they add a lot of small convenience. (I do use it a lot for fitness as well.)
 
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Ballis

macrumors 6502a
May 27, 2008
914
816
Oslo, Norway
As impressive as this sounds, I hardly think swiss watch companies and Apple are competing for the same customers. Sure, some Rolex owners may buy an additional Apple watch, but the people buying Apple as their only option likely wouldnt even consider a swiss alternative.
 

OldSchoolMacGuy

Suspended
Jul 10, 2008
4,197
9,050
Wow, impressive sales.

I don’t have the watch, and don’t see the benefits, but I can’t argue with the numbers. It’s a big success, and it’s growing. If the health side really accelerated (eg. Innovations in glucose monitoring etc) then I’ll take another look! :)
I know a lot of us didn't see a huge benefit until we got them. Only then do you realize how much less you need to look at your phone throughout the day. That alone may be worth it for some. The addition of health monitoring is huge too.
 

roncron

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2011
631
897
Apple Watch has gone from a half-baked product at launch to a mature and smooth-running device that is more and more useful. Series 3 finally convinced me to buy.

One thing though: I don't think it's fair to compare sales of Apple Watch and Swiss watches. Sure, they both tell time. Otherwise, they are different product categories. Apple Watches can do hundreds of things and there are AW models available that are pretty affordable ($179 sale price for Series 1). Swiss watches do 1 or 2 things, are handmade by artisans, and are more a piece of fine jewelry. I think both products are terrific, for different needs.
 
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