The Apple Watch is outselling all other smartwatches by a sizable number.
The Apple Watch is dominating the smartwatch market.
Since its official launch on April 24, the Apple Watch has snagged a sizable lead with total shipments of almost 7 million units, research firm Canalys said Wednesday. That figure, covering just two quarters, was higher than the shipments of all other vendors combined over the previous five quarters, Canalys said.
Apple itself has not offered its own tally for sales of its smartwatch, which faced supply constraints early on.
The Apple Watch is the highest-profile product in the growing category of wearable tech, which has drawn competition from heavy hitters such as Samsung, Motorola and LG. Apple’s dominance in the smartwatch sector reflects a number of factors, including its design prowess, software-hardware integration and brand allure, Canalys said.
The question now centers on the volume of sales the watch will generate during the holiday shopping quarter, when consumers tend to spend heavily. Apple may face intensified competition from high-end watchmakers such as Fossil and Tag Heuer, both of which will unleash their first smartwatches by year’s end.
To broaden the appeal of its watch, Apple added new colors and band styles. It also has boosted the capabilities of the device with its upgrade to WatchOS 2, the latest version of the software that runs it.
“Shipments are steadily increasing as [Apple] has greatly expanded the Watch’s channel footprint internationally,” Canalys analyst Chris Jones said in a press release. “WatchOS 2 has brought native apps to the platform, and new colors and styles have refreshed the lineup, but Apple needs to continue to generate demand six months after launch.”
Last quarter, Apple was the only smartwatch vendor to ship more than 300,000 units, according to Canalys. Pebble shipped more than 200,000 smartwatches during the period, helped by the release of its Pebble Time Steel. But shipments of Samsung’s Gear watch fell as the company prepped to launch its Gear S2 device. Canalys didn’t specify the number of Gear shipments.
Meanwhile, Xiaomi and Fitbit last quarter controlled the market for basic fitness bands, which offer more limited functions than do smartwatches. Xiaomi did well especially in its home country of China, according to Canalys. During the third quarter, its $15 Mi Band saw shipments top the 10 million mark since the device launched in July 2014. Fitbit saw growth in its shipments as its Charge HR band continued to attract interest among consumers.
Apple did not respond to CNET’s request for comment.