According to a recent survey by IDC, the Apple Watch was the highest selling smartwatch in the last quarter and the entire year of 2017. Apple shipped an estimated 8 million units in Q4 of 2017 compared to 5.1 million in the same quarter in 2016. Overall market share in Q4 went from 14.4% behind Fitbit and Xiaomi in 2016 to 21% in 2017, ahead of everybody else.
As for the whole year, Apple shipped 17.7 million units in 2017 versus 11.3 million in 2016. Total market share went from 10.8% in 2016 to 15.3% in 2017.
But here’s the real kicker; the numbers you just read were for the entire wearable category. For Apple, this just means the Apple Watch, which starts at $249. For other companies, it means every type of wearable they sell, which for someone like Xiaomi also includes the $28 Mi Band 2. Seen in that context, Apple’s numbers look even more impressive.
For a more apples-to-apples comparison, MacRumors got data specific to smartwatches from IDC and here’s it’s not even close. Apple sold 8 million units in Q4 2017, more than all others combined. Same for 17.7 million units sold in the entire 2017. Basically, one in every two smartwatches is now an Apple Watch.
Looking at other smartwatch numbers it’s easy to see why many of the companies like Motorola decided to drop out of the smartwatch business. While the wearable business is still growing due to the advent of inexpensive fitness bands, the only smartwatch anybody seems to want is the Apple Watch, a device that is fairly expensive and only works with one brand of smartphones.
While the Apple Watch’s popularity doesn’t spell success for smartwatches in general, it does for the Apple Watch itself, which many doubted at launch. However, it hasn’t quite spelled the doom for regular watches as many predicted, so turns out there is market for both, regular watches and smartwatches, as long as the smartwatch is an Apple Watch.