Apple Watch Continues to Dominate the Smartwatch Market

Apple Watch Series 3 Incoming Call 001 Credit: Apple
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Apple shipped about 3.5 million Apple Watches in the second quarter of November, maintaining its lead as the current king of wearables.

That number presents a 30 percent increase year-over-year from the second quarter of 2017, according to a new report by Canalys. It also suggests that the Apple Watch Series 3 model is much more popular among consumers than the previous generation.

But the overall market is booming today, with Canalys indicating that total global smartwatch shipments reached about 10 million units. That’s due, in part, to Apple’s competitors like Fitbit and Garmin.

Because of that, Apple’s share of the total smartwatch market actually dropped despite the company shipping more watches. Canalys indicates that Apple’s market share dipped to 34 percent in Q2 — down from 43 percent in the first quarter of 2018.

Apple also shipped about 250,000 units to the Asian market (though not including China). The Apple Watch S3 with LTE functionality appeared to be the most popular, making up about 60 percent of the total wearables shipped.

The report also dubs the Apple Watch Series 3 with cellular the best-shipping smartwatch in Asia throughout 2018’s second quarter. Canalys attributes this to Apple’s international expansion in markets like Australia, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, India and South Korea.

Still, it isn’t going to be all smooth sailing for Apple from here on out. Its closest rivals, like Fitbit and Garmin, are gaining ground quickly.

“Apple faces a growing threat from competitors, which have started to pass the million quarterly shipments market,” said Vincent Thielke, a Canalys analyst.

Thielke went on to say that smartwatch makers are increasingly trying to differentiate their products with features like advanced heart-rate monitoring and “smart coaching.” All in all, consumers have a lot more choice in the smartwatch sphere than they did a year ago, the analyst said.

And Apple isn’t the only technology juggernaut looking to dominate the smartwatch market. Two of its biggest competitors in the smartphone industry are also looking into wearables.

“Amid further competition from Samsung and Google, rumored to be launching Galaxy and Pixel watches respectively, Apple needs to work out how to drive refreshes in markets such as the US, where its penetration into the existing iPhone installed base has started to level off,” Thielke said.

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