Apple does not reveal sales numbers of its wearable device. Instead, the company groups Watch revenues into the Other Products category which includes Beats, iPod, Watch, and more. With some reports indicating that Apple Watch sales have been declining despite the release of Apple Watch Series 2, Tim Cook has tried to set the record straight. Cook told Reuters that Apple Watch sales growth was “off the charts” during the first week of holiday shopping.
Apple Watch Series 2 a popular holiday gift this year
Cook said the current quarter was on track to be the “best ever” for Apple Watch as the device’s sell-through reached an all-time high. Apple’s internal data shows that Watch “looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year.” The Cupertino company has disclosed few details about the performance of the original Apple Watch or the latest Apple Watch Series 2.
TECHnalysis Research analyst Bob O’Donnell said that the Apple Watch was a “more natural gift” than the iPhone or Mac. So, you can expect the Watch to perform well during the quarter. The tech giant has also lowered the price of its wearable device this year, which should help the holiday season sales.
Apple Watch sales plunged 71% in Q3: IDC
However, a report released by research firm IDC on Monday painted a gloomy picture of smartwatches, including the Apple Watch Series 2. IDC said the third-quarter Apple Watch sales plunged 71% YoY to just 1.1 million units. Though Apple Watch still commands 41.3% share in smartwatch category, its share in overall wearable device market was just 4.9%.
The research firm pointed out that “basic wearables” such as fitness trackers accounted for 85% of wearable sales during the September quarter. Smartwatches are the devices that can run third-party apps, unlike basic wearables. Fitbit was the top-selling wearable device maker with 23% market share, followed by Xiaomi with 16.5%, and Garmin with 5.7%. Apple was ranked fourth with 4.9% market share, closely followed by Samsung with 4.5%.
Basic wearables hurting Apple Watch sales
IDC said the decline in Apple Watch sales during the quarter was due to an “aging lineup and an unintuitive user interface.” Apple’s Q3 sales numbers were largely unaffected by the release of Apple Watch Series 2 because the device became available only in the last few days at the end of the quarter.
Consumer preference toward basic wearables does not bode well for the Apple Watch Series 2 going into the holiday season. IDC analysts believe that Apple Watch will “continue to struggle in the near term,” because basic wearables – not smartwatches – now reign supreme. The Apple Watch Series 2 comes with a brighter display, a faster processor, GPS tracking, and waterproofing.