During Apple’s quarterly earnings call, chief executive Tim Cook said December quarter was the best ever for the Apple Watch, both in terms of unit sales and revenues. Despite the record-breaking quarter, Apple still does not reveal the Watch sales numbers. Instead, wearable devices are bundled into the “other products” category with Apple TV, the iPod, and Beats headphones. But an analytics firm estimates that strong demand for the Apple Watch Series 2 drove Apple’s wearable device sales to a record 5.2 million units during the holiday quarter.
Apple Watch Series 2 was one of the most popular holiday gifts
In the absence of official figures, the industry watchers rely on third-party data. Strategy Analytics said in a statement that the Apple Watch Series 2 was one of the hottest gifts during the December quarter. What’s more, Apple’s aggressive pricing on the Series 1 ate into the sales of Fitbit’s Blaze fitness band, according to Morgan Stanley. Despite the strong sales of Apple Watch, the overall smartwatch market grew merely 1% YoY to 8.2 million units in December quarter.
It means the Apple Watch had an impressive 63.4% of the global smartwatch market. Tim Cook told investors at the earnings call that holiday demand for the Apple Watch was so strong that the company “couldn’t make enough.” However, growth compared to the same quarter in 2015 wasn’t all that strong. According to Strategy Analytics, the Cupertino company sold 5.1 million Apple Watch units in the holiday quarter of 2015.
Samsung lags far behind Apple
In total, Apple shipped 11.6 million units in the year 2016, a large majority of which came following the release of the Apple Watch Series 2 in September. The Series 2 comes with a longer battery life, faster processor, waterproofing capabilities, built-in GPS, and a brighter display. It has also evolved into a more sophisticated fitness tracker with apps for monitoring heart rate, sleep, and other conditions.
Strategy Analytics said Samsung was the second largest smartwatch vendor with just 10% market share. The Korean company shipped only 800,000 smartwatch units during the December quarter. By comparison, Samsung had sold 2.7 million units in the same quarter a year ago.
A new ‘Theater mode’ coming to Apple Watch
Apple recently pushed out watchOS 3.2 beta to developers. The watchOS 3.2 brings a new feature called Theater Mode to the Apple Watch. It ensures that you don’t distract those around when in movie theaters. The Theater Mode would stop the Watch’s screen from springing to life every time you raise the wrist or there is a new notification. The constant alerts could distract people around you.
You will still get notifications (including haptics) while in Theater Mode. If you want to see them, simply press the Digital Crown or tap the screen. The watchOS 3.2 also includes new SiriKit additions that allow developers to add Siri support to their apps. It means users will be able to book a ride, make payments, send a message, and make other requests using Siri on Apple Watch.