Apple Becomes World's Top Wearable Manufacturer, Claims New Report

Yolanda Curtis
November 15, 2017

According to market tracker Canalys, Apple shipped 3.9 million watches in the third quarter, but only 800,000 with an LTE wireless modem included. CEO Tim Cook said in Apple's most recent earnings report that Watch sales were up by 50 percent for the third consecutive quarter thanks to a focus on health services.

During the same period, Xiaomi and Fitbit shipped 3.6 million and 3.5 million wearable bands, respectively. Still, their performance was better than average in the sluggish Q3, according to Canalys, where business has historically been slower. In total, the overall wearable band market fell 2 percent year over year to reach 17.3 million units.

Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially unsafe situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply. And Apple charges $399 for the entry-level connected model, versus only $329 for the cheapest watch without LTE, with wireless carriers tacking on another $10 per month for connectivity. Service providers had underestimated demand for the new Apple Watch.

Smartphone makers Huawei and Samsung also make their own series of smartwatches, some of which are created to rival the Apple Watch, but have had to contend with 6% and 5% share, respectively. Plus, more than one in five of the Apple Watch devices sold was apparently a cellular model (4G). "Otherwise, the market will see further consolidation, as vendors such as Apple, Samsung and Fitbit dominate with their watch software platforms", says Jason Low, analyst, Canalys.

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Evan Niu, CFA owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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