With 3.6Mn Shipment In Q2, Apple Watch Is Doing Fine

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 28, 2015

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Apple, which launched the Apple Watch in June, is within striking distance of leader Fitbit Inc in the wearable devices market, market research firm IDC said. The Apple Watch, which sports many health-related features and apps, is seen as the biggest rival to Fitbit’s trackers.

IDC states that Apple shipped 3.6 million Apple Watches in the second quarter of 2015, just behind Fitbit’s 4.4 million wearable fitness and health trackers. 

Shipments of wearable devices more than tripled to 18.1 million units in the second quarter, even beyond IDC’s expectations. IDC said in its June release that Apple will ship to retailers about 21 million Apple Watches in 2015. A GfK report earlier estimated that Apple Watch will sell anywhere between 10 million and 45 million before 2015 end.

Read more: Why 2015 Is A Turning Point For Wearables?

Analysts expected Apple Watch to grab nearly two-thirds of the smartwatch market this year. “It’s worth noting that Fitbit only sells basic wearables - a category that is expected to lose share over the next few years, leaving Apple poised to become the next market leader for all wearables,” the IDC report said.

Financial analyst Brian White of Cantor Fitzgerald recently mentioned that the Apple Watch will “prove to be the best selling product in Apple’s history.

A report by Slice Intelligence said Watch sales fell 90% by the end of June, compared with its initial availability, though in late July, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said Watch sales had surpassed Apple’s own projections – without saying what those were negating Slice data.

Tough competition

Nonetheless the competition is tough with too many players on the fray. IFA, one of the largest European tech shows in September, is expected to be all about smartwatches. LG’s ‘next big’ smart wearable, code-named LG-VC110 is likely to create milestones soon, is aiming at the budget wearables market. Asus’ upcoming ZenWatch 2, its first Android wearable, will also to be launched in the coming weeks, giving tough competition to Apple and Samsung.

Not only tech companies, traditional watchmakers such as Tag Heuer and Swatch makers are also working on smart models, heightening the competition. Swatch has just announced its plans to come up with new smartwatch range early next year. CEO Nick Hayek calls it a “smartwatch featuring NFC for mobile payments, as an alternative to credit cards. 

“Growth in the smart wearables market points to an emerging battleground among competing platforms,” said Ramon Llamas, research manager, Wearables. “Android Wear, Tizen, and WatchOS are moving ahead with improved user interfaces, user experiences, and applications. 

These will raise the expectations of what a smart wearable can do, and each platform is vying for best-in-class status. We’re not there yet, but we’re seeing the building blocks of what is to come.

More From Apple

It would be a stretch to call the Watch a bust. Even if every watch that Apple sold was its least-expensive $349 model, Watch revenues would have surpassed $1 billion – a ringing success for any company not named Apple, says a WSJ report. However, Apple is fighting the sky-high expectations that it set by declaring the Watch “our most personal device yet.”

A new version of Watch software – watchOS 2 – is coming out next month. It is expected to address one of the main complaints about the watch, the sluggish performance of non-Apple apps. In the current version, all third-party Watch apps run on the iPhone and beam data to the watch, causing a lag in performance, it says.

Analysts believe the real test will come this holiday season when Apple throws the full weight of its marketing machine behind the Watch.