Apple Dominated the Smartwatch Market at the End of 2016, Analysts Say


During Apple’s earnings call last week, the infamously secretive Cupertino company refused to reveal detailed sales figures, with Tim Cook only divulging that they “set all-time revenue records for iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch.”

Thanks to independent research firm Canalys, we now have an idea of how many Apple Watches were sold: About six million, which would account for 80 percent of all smartwatches sold in Q4 2016, and a year-on-year growth of 12% for the global market.

Why such an upswing? Canalys attributes the sales to a combination of more affordable pricing and more focused marketing. Apple has had a fitness slant to their most recent Watch advertisements, emphasizing features such as its built-in GPS and heart-rate monitor.

Thanks to such a successful Q4, the Apple Watch accounted for nearly half of all smartwatch sales last year, Canalys claims; about two-thirds of the other 50 percent was split between competitors Samsung and Fitbit, with other up-and-coming brands like Xiaomi taking up the other 17 percent.

Critics continue to decry fitness trackers and smartwatches as just a passing fad, but we beg to differ. Apple’s success in advertising the Watch to fitness junkies is proof enough that the wearables industry is far from dead. Apple will most likely have more competition in the months to come, with LG releasing two brand-new watches this week in conjunction with Google’s Android Wear 2.0 software.

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