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Apple Watch sales crashed this summer, still the best-selling smartwatch

October 24th, 2016 at 6:09 PM

New data from IDC estimates that Apple shipped 1.1 million Apple Watches between June and September this year. That’s a lot of wrist ‘puters to sell, but it’s actually a 70 percent decrease in sales from the summer before.

You might think that falling sales figures is not a good thing for Apple, but there’s a few things in the IDC report to make the company feel better. Most notably, despite the drop in sales, Apple remains the biggest seller of smartwatches by a country mile.

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The obvious killer of sales is the fact that the Apple Watch Series 2 was announced at the beginning of September, and not released until later in the month. We all had a good idea that new Apple Watch hardware would be coming sometime this summer, and it’s a safe bet that a lot of customers deferred their Watch purchases until after the announcement.


Apple also continues its dominance as the largest maker of smartwatches, with an estimated market share of a little over 40 percent. Garmin and Samsung are the next closest, with 20 and 14 percent of the market respectively.

But neither company is really competing much with the Apple Watch. Garmin’s wearables are focused squarely on fitness with little thought given to aesthetics, while Samsung’s Gear line is more about fitting as many features (and cellular radios) into a thing you strap to your wrist, with little concern for what it’s actually meant to do.

Overall, only 2.7 million smartwatches shipped in Q3 this year, according to IDC’s estimates. Those aren’t big numbers, especially for a product that was supposed to be the next smartphone. We’ll have to wait and see if the numbers bounce back after the launch of the Apple Watch Series 2, but so far, it seems like Apple has squarely won the smartwatch war. It just doesn’t really seem like a war worth winning.

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