The Cupertino tech firm reportedly shipped 3.9 million Apple Watches during the third quarter of 2017, putting Apple in the lead of global wearables sales (smart watches, activity trackers, wearable bands etc.), according to figures from Canalys.
Sales would have been even stronger if retailers had not underestimated demand.
Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially risky situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply. The numbers for Q3 2017 suggest that Apple shipped 3.9 million units of the Apple Watch, which is the company's strongest quarter ever for the Watch. It suffered limited availability as demand outstripped supply in major markets.
Xiaomi came in second place during Q3 2017, securing 21 percent of the total wearable market and shipping 3.6 million units.
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The drop in the prices of the previous generation watches following the launch of the Watch Series 3, also helped Apple to push watch sales. "In China, [for example, ] customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country." Mr. "Besides bringing in more stock, operators should work on improving their remote service provisioning systems to cater for the expected higher demand in Q4", said Low.
Samsung, Apple and Huawei, the top three smartphone vendors by volume in Q3 2017, have positioned smartwatches to complement their premium smartphones. According to Canalys estimates, as many as 800,000 units of the Apple Watch shipped in Q3 were cellular-enabled.
"While health features continue to be the core focus, vendors are striving to increase the value of smartwatches by prioritizing design and highlighting key features", Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia said. "Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories". While health and fitness tracking features are something many buy a fitness band or a smartwatch for, there is also the aspect of the software, the ease of pairing with the phone, apps that can be run on the wearable and battery life which also constitutes a part of the buying decision.