Apple’s quarterly report kept the actual sales of the Apple Watch quiet, stacking it in the ‘Other’ category along with iPods and other accessories. Even so, analyst firm Canalys claims Apple sold 4.2 million wearables, making it the most popular wearable in 2015.
Canalys dropped three million from its previous ambitious target, claiming the Apple Watch would hit 7.2 million by the middle of the year (opens in new tab). 4.2 million is still higher than some analyst firms are willing to go, especially after Slice Intelligence said Apple Watch sales had dropped 90 per cent since the opening weekend.
Either way, the opening week of the Apple Watch managed around two million sales, with late orders in June and July accounting for another one or two million. Apple managed to stabilise the supply line by late June, but interest in the wearable had panned weeks before (opens in new tab).
It is hard to say if the Apple Watch is really a “success”, compared to Apple’s previous hardware products. The iPhone and iPad both received a huge sales increase in the following months, while the Apple Watch has went the other way.
This may be due to the stigma against wearables being useless for the average user. That is what everyone said about tablets as well, when Apple released the iPad in 2010, although that still didn’t stop a 200 per cent increase in sales over the two months of sales.
The Apple Watch 2 may be able to fix a lot of the issues the first generation model has, including the low battery life, slow app runtime and button arrangement. Apple plans to add an update to the Watch OS, allowing developers to create native experiences, which should help both battery life and performance.
Other competitors in the wearable market include Xiaomi, who sold over one million wearable units in China, Samsung, who managed to sell over one million Galaxy Gear units, and LG, who managed to sell hundreds of thousands of wearables.
Prominent watchmakers TAG Heuer, Swatch and Alpina are all working on smartwatches as well, although most are working on basic functionality like fitness and health sensors, instead of full apps, music and fingerprint functionality.