Apple Watch Shipments Could Reach 15 Million in 2017

Friday August 18, 2017 2:58 AM PDT by Tim Hardwick

Overall Apple Watch shipments are expected to rise to 4.5 million units in the fourth quarter of this year and could reach 15 million for the whole of 2017, according to sources in the upstream supply chain (via DigiTimes).

Those predictions bode well for Apple as it prepares to launch its third-generation smartwatch, but the figures stand in stark contrast to other vendors of wearable devices, who are seeing increasingly weakening demand.


Xiaomi and Fitbit are both experiencing dropping sales for their current smartwatch ranges, while wearable shipments from Samsung, LG, Huawei, and Motorola remain weak overall. Asustek has already decided to leave the market completely and Intel has been cutting staff and R&D resources involved in its wearable platforms.

High prices, weak battery life, overlapping functionalities with smartphones, and poorly integrated ecosystems are among the reasons cited for the less-than-impressive demand for rival wearables.

Meanwhile Apple's smartwatch continues to ride a wave of popularity, with supply chain sources expecting Apple Watch volume to rise to up to 20 million units in 2018. By contrast the first-generation Apple Watch shipped less than 5 million units in 2015, while the second-generation model has maintained strong sales since its launch in September 2016.

Set to launch next month, the Apple Watch Series 3 is said to be coming in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + LTE models in 38mm and 42mm sizes, according to KGI securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo reckons the cellular-enabled model will have an embedded SIM, but it might support VoIP calling only. Apple Watch Series 3 models will also reportedly have improved performance and longer battery life.

Rumors of a design change for the third-generation watch can't be confirmed, but it's possible some small tweaks to the form factor could be revealed in September, alongside new iPhones and possibly a 4K-capable Apple TV.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

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34 months ago
For something that only works on iPhone, it's quite amazing.
Meanwhile, Google doesn't even have a clear vision on what Android Wear is going. My 2nd gen Moto 360 released in 2015 is already abandoned last year (last security patch was October 2016). With Samsung pursuing their own solution with the insecure Tizen, Apple is becoming the de-facto smartwatch choice.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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34 months ago

Overall Apple Watch shipments are expected to rise to 4.5 million units in the fourth quarter of this year and could reach 15 million for the whole of 2017, according to sources in the upstream supply chain (via DigiTimes ('http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20170817PD208.html')).

Shipments are Pretty much impressive. Cracks me up how some call it a flop.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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34 months ago
What other competition is really against the Apple Watch? Pebble is out, Android wear seems distant and not overly popular, Fitbit lacks style and seems stagnant at the moment. It's Not shocking the overall success of the Apple Watch and Series 3 will Continue to improve the capabilities further, hopefully with more health related sensors, which I think is the strongest atttibute the Watch has besides the notifications and band changing.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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34 months ago

While relatively few Watch-capable iPhone owners are getting one, current sales are not bad at about 5% of iPhone buyers. Very similar to Apple Pay adoption.

(Although it's not like iPhone owners have any real choice when it comes to a fully compatible watch... Apple has made sure of that by doing what Microsoft used to do: keep the tightest integration APIs to themselves.)

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The bigger question to me is: how many end up in a drawer somewhere? Historically speaking, about half of smartwatches end up not being used after about six months. People forget to charge them, bring a charger, etc, and eventually fall out of the habit.

I'd love to see a survey to find out if Apple has beat the normal odds on long term user adoption.

My Fitbit surge is now 2 years and 5 months old and still going strong and is on my wrist at least 6 out of 7 days a week. My son wears his first gen AW as he would a wrist-watch. And without exception everyone I know with an AW still wears theirs. While that is a small sample, anecdotally it shows in my circle people do not throw their AW in a drawer after six months.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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34 months ago
I was originally a skeptical guy. I still not in love with the design but the workout feature has been what made me abandon my Omega Seamaster (Use only for social ocasions). I have been motivate to workout more due the data and features. That alone makes it worth IMO. Good job Apple.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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34 months ago
Not bad figures considering all the people that posted on here in the past saying the Apple Watch is a flop
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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