When Apple chief executive Tim Cook said that sales of the Apple Watch over the last quarter were record breaking, the only detail he would provide was that “the holiday demand was so strong we couldn’t make enough.” A recent report from Canalys, however, estimates that the wearable’s record-setting performance amounted to 6 million units sold, generating more than $2.6 billion in revenue. That would amount to nearly 80 percent of the total smartwatch market for the quarter.
“Apart from the hardware and software improvements of the new models, Apple succeeded mainly due to its streamlined marketing and re-aligned pricing, which helped it address a wider audience,” said analyst Jason Low in a press release from Canalys. "The Series 1’s lower entry price and Apple’s more focused fitness messaging made its Watch both more attainable and more relevant.”
As reported by 9to5Mac, Canalys estimates that Apple sold around 6 million units last quarter, a year to year growth of 12 percent. Overall, Canalys estimates that Apple sold 11.9 million watches in 2016, holding 49 percent of the market share for the year.
That number places Apple at the top of the smartwatch market by a significant amount. The next two largest smartwatch vendors in 2016 were Fitbit and Samsung, which held 17 percent and 15 percent of the market share, respectively, according to Canalys’ estimates. (Fitbit’s “smartwatch” is actually a smart fitness watch, which has a smartwatch form factor but doesn’t support third-party apps.) Other vendors held around 19 percent collectively.
Canalys also noted Xiaomi’s record quarter of 5.5 million Mi Band sales.
Along with the record-setting performance of the Apple Watch, Apple tallied its highest quarterly revenue ever. “We sold more iPhones than ever before and set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac, and Apple Watch,” Cook said on the Q1 earnings call. The company also noted that Apple’s App Store had record levels of activity in its letter to investors.
But not all of Apple’s products are doing as well as the iPhone or the Apple Watch. iPad sales and revenue were both down 20 percent year over year.
While the wearables market has shown signs of weakness in recent quarters, wearable makers seem to be keeping at it for now. Fitbit just warned of weak fourth quarter results and announced layoffs, but intends to launch its own wearable app store as soon as possible. New Balance also recently released its first Android Wear smartwatch, the RunIQ, while HTC has denied rumors that its making an Android Wear smartwatch after photos circulated of what appeared to be an Under Armour-branded prototype.