Apple Watch Market Share Declined Over Summer as Rumors Swirled About Series 3 Models With LTE

Apple Watch was the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin last quarter, but its market share declined over the summer, according to data shared with MacRumors by research firm IDC.

apple watch trio
Whereas the Apple Watch represented just under half of all smartwatches shipped in the second quarter with 49.6 percent market share, the device had an estimated 41 percent market share in the third quarter. In other words, four out of every 10 smartwatches shipped last quarter were Apple Watches.

Apple Watch shipments totaled an estimated 2.7 million units in the July-September period, down from 3.4 million units in the prior quarter.

idc smartwatch shipments q3 2017

Worldwide smartwatch shipments in Q3 2017 via IDC. Units reflected in millions.

Apple Watch shipments were likely affected by seasonality, as the summer is traditionally a slower sales period for Apple. Also, some customers may have delayed their purchase given consistent rumors about Apple Watch Series 3 models with cellular capabilities launching in September, as did happen.

Samsung finished runner-up to the Apple Watch with an estimated 700,000 shipments, also down slightly from the prior quarter.

Garmin took third place with 600,000 shipments, unchanged from the prior quarter. Fossil and Continental Wireless, which makes kids smartwatches in China, tied for fourth place with shipments of 500,000 smartwatches respectively. All other smartwatch makers shipped 1.7 million units combined in the quarter.

IDC's data shared with MacRumors is based exclusively on smartwatches, which it defines as watches that can run third-party apps on the device itself.

In the broader wearables market, which includes many low-priced fitness trackers, IDC estimates the Apple Watch captured 10.3 percent market share last quarter. Fitbit and Chinese vendor Xiaomi tied for the lead in that category last quarter with an estimated 13.7 percent market share each.

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch sales like it does with iPhones, iPads, and Macs. Instead, it groups the wearable under its "Other Products" category, alongside Apple TV, AirPods, Beats, iPods, and other accessories.

On a conference call early this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook did reveal that Apple Watch sales were up 50 percent in the quarter year over year. Apple reported revenue of $3.2 billion from its "Other Products" category, up 36 percent year over year.

Moving on now to Apple Watch, with unit growth of over 50 percent for the third consecutive quarter, it continues to be the best selling and most loved smartwatch in the world. We began shipping Apple Watch Series 3 just six weeks ago, and customers love the new freedom of cellular. The ability to go for a run with just your Apple Watch, or go for a quick errand without your phone, while staying connected, is a game changer. Now more than ever, Apple Watch is the ultimate device for healthy life, and is already making a big difference in our customers' lives.

Apple today announced that Apple Watch users in the United States can participate in a heart study aimed at identifying irregular heart rhythms.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 8
Tag: IDC
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

dannyyankou Avatar
67 months ago
I think it’s safe to say now the AW was a flop. Tim Cook has yet to create a new “category” that can rival the iPhone or iPad. I miss Steve.
What? The article is saying that Apple Watch sales slowed down because people were holding out for the series 3 model. How does that indicate a flop? Apple Watch series 3 will probably bring the marketshare back up.

It's still at 41% by the way.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Naraxus Avatar
67 months ago
This is the same thing that happens with iPhones every year - sales dip a bit by people waiting for the newest one. Not sur why this is news.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
67 months ago
Even if the Apple Watch market share declined over the summer as the article indicated, it's still the best selling smart watch in the world and With the release of Series 3 in September, its expanded with LTE and will continue to grow with more health advancements. Apple owns the wearable market currently.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gregmac19 Avatar
67 months ago
“Also, some customers may have delayed their purchase given consistent rumors about Apple Watch Series 3 models with cellular capabilities launching in September, as did happen.”


Some people were waiting for cellular capabilities, but I was waiting for a watch with a big red dot.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
paul4339 Avatar
67 months ago


... and she actually admitted I had a great idea.

Now, this feature alone makes me want to get an Apple Watch for my spouse too...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HoosBruce Avatar
67 months ago
I think it’s safe to say now the AW was a flop. Tim Cook has yet to create a new “category” that can rival the iPhone or iPad. I miss Steve.
:lol wow go away. I know you’re not being serious, but still...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone trade in

Apple Adjusts Trade-In Values for iPhones, Macs, and More

Wednesday January 25, 2023 9:40 am PST by
After announcing new Mac and HomePod models last week, Apple adjusted its trade-in values for select devices in the United States. iPhone trade-in values decreased by up to $80, and most Android smartphones also went down. Mac trade-in values remained unchanged or increased by up to $40 depending on the model, while some Apple Watch models increased in value and others decreased. Trade-in...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Pro Expected Later This Year With These 7 Exclusive Features

Tuesday January 24, 2023 4:53 pm PST by
Apple's next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max are expected to be announced in September as usual. Already, rumors suggest the devices will have at least seven exclusive features not available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus. An overview of the seven features rumored to be exclusive to iPhone 15 Pro models:A17 chip: iPhone 15 Pro models will be equipped with an A17...
Mac mini M2 2023

New 256GB Mac Mini and 512GB MacBook Pro Have Slower SSD Speeds Than Previous Models

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:11 pm PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M2 chip has a lower $599 starting price, the base model with 256GB of storage has slower SSD read and write speeds compared to the previous-generation model with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. A teardown of the new Mac mini shared by YouTube channel Brandon Geekabit reveals that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single 256GB storage chip, while the...
iOS 16

iOS 16.3 for iPhone Launching Next Week With These 4 New Features

Friday January 20, 2023 11:43 am PST by
In a recent press release, Apple confirmed that iOS 16.3 will be released to the public next week. The software update will be available for the iPhone 8 and newer and includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped bigger features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for Apple ID accounts, worldwide ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

iPhone 15 Expected to Feature Wi-Fi 6E Like Latest Macs and iPad Pro

Wednesday January 25, 2023 5:39 pm PST by
The iPhone 15 will support Wi-Fi 6E, according to a research note shared this week by Barclays analysts Blayne Curtis and Tom O'Malley. The analysts did not specify whether the feature will be available on all models or limited to the Pro models. Apple has added Wi-Fi 6E support to a handful of devices so far, including the latest 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Pro Mac Mini

Tuesday January 24, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
The new M2-series MacBook Pro and Mac mini models launched today, marking the debut of the first M2 Pro and M2 Max chips. We have the M2 Pro Mac mini on hand, and thought we'd take a look at the machine and do a series of benchmarks to see how it fits into Apple's lineup. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Base model Mac mini machines come with either an M2 or M2 Pro...
apple tv 4k red image

Apple Releases tvOS 16.3

Tuesday January 24, 2023 10:10 am PST by
Apple today released tvOS 16.3, the third major point update to the tvOS 16 operating system that originally came out in September. Available for the Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD, tvOS 16.3 comes six weeks after tvOS 16.2, an update that added Apple Music Sing. The tvOS 16.3 update can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the ‌‌‌‌Apple TV‌‌‌‌ by going to System > Software...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With the New M2 Max MacBook Pro

Thursday January 26, 2023 12:14 pm PST by
New 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with the latest M2 Pro and M2 Max chips are available in Apple retail stores and are already in the hands of customers, and we picked up one of the new M2 Max machines to answer all of the questions MacRumors readers considering a purchase might have. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Yesterday, we asked MacRumors fans on...