Apple Watch Outsold All Competing Smartwatches Combined Last Year

apple watch hermes 3Apple Watch continues to be the world's most popular smartwatch by a significant margin, according to analysts.

IDC estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled eight million units worldwide last quarter, which also makes it the best selling wearable device during that period.

The research firm says one in every five wearables shipped last quarter was an Apple Watch, on the strength of new Series 3 models launched in September.

By comparison, Fitbit reported sales of 5.4 million wearables last quarter, while Xiaomi shipped 4.9 million units over that time, according to IDC. An estimated 41 percent of smartwatch shipments came from smaller vendors grouped into an Others category.

idc wearables 4q17
The wearables market includes several inexpensive fitness trackers from the likes of Fitbit and Xiaomi, while the Apple Watch starts at $249 for Series 1 models, so it's really an apples to oranges comparison.

For that reason, MacRumors also reached out to IDC for data specific to smartwatches, which it defines as wearables that can run third-party apps natively.

The data shows that Apple Watch accounted for an estimated 61 percent of worldwide smartwatch shipments last quarter, with no single competitor coming anywhere close. Samsung's market share was just 8.4 percent, according to IDC, despite the quarter encompassing the lucrative holiday shopping season.

idc smartwatches 4q17 big
For perspective, the estimated 17.7 million Apple Watches shipped in 2017 was more than all competing smartwatches combined last year. Samsung, Garmin, Fossil, Chinese kids smartwatch maker Continental Wireless, and other vendors shipped an estimated 15.6 million smartwatches cumulatively last year.

"Consumer preferences have shifted to more sophisticated devices and towards well recognized brands," like the Apple Watch, said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst at IDC. "It's due to this that the wearables market has seen healthy double-digit growth in average selling prices since 2016."

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 TVs, AirPods, Beats, iPods, accessories, and soon HomePods.

On an earnings call last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the Apple Watch had its best quarter ever during the fourth quarter of 2017, with over 50 percent growth in revenue and units sold for the fourth quarter in a row, and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment that Apple tracks.

Cook added that sales of Apple Watch Series 3 models were also more than twice as high as Series 2 models in the year-ago quarter.

Apple analysts, who closely examine Apple's earnings reports and other clues to estimate Apple Watch sales, have similar totals as IDC. Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies estimates Apple Watch shipments totaled 17.4 million last year, while Horace Dediu of Asymco comes in at 17.7 million.

Apple Watch shipments outpaced all Swiss watch brands combined for the first time last quarter, according to IDC's Francisco Jeronimo.‏ In other words, Apple is now the biggest watchmaker in the world.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Tag: IDC
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

dannyyankou Avatar
78 months ago
It's just a gimmick they said, it'll never take off they said
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
78 months ago
It's just a gimmick they said, it'll never take off they said
Others said the same about the Airpods being a gimmick to, and look at the success of both of these products. The Apple Watch can only get better from here with health related advancements like glucose monitoring. This is just the start of what is to come for the Apple Watch future. It does so many things well already, but the health aspect of Apple Watch is a staple.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
plexdk Avatar
78 months ago
It's just a gimmick they said, it'll never take off they said
Yep.. that’s how it has been since the first iPod Announcement :p
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nfl46 Avatar
78 months ago
Apple has no competition when it comes to smartwatches and tablets.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
44267547 Avatar
78 months ago
Not true. As an outdoors enthusiast, the Garmin Fenix watches are much better.
Can you elaborate why the Fenix is better? You telling another forum member “Not true” doesn’t explain your reasoning.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kironin Avatar
78 months ago
still find them very ugly
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...
iOS 18 Mock Feature Baubles

Will Your iPhone Support iOS 18? Here's What the Latest Rumor Says

Thursday February 29, 2024 7:29 am PST by
iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 are still over three months away from being unveiled, but we may already know which devices will be compatible with the updates. iOS 18 will be compatible with the same iPhone models as iOS 17, meaning that the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR from 2018 will remain supported for at least another year, according to information shared this week by a source with a...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

OLED iPad Pro's Thin Design Highlighted in CAD Drawings

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:22 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new version of the iPad Pro that is set to launch as soon as March, and the refresh will mark the biggest design update to the Pro lineup since 2018. Apple is transitioning to OLED displays, and the swap will allow for a major change to the overall thickness of the device. CAD drawings of the upcoming ~11-inch and ~13-inch iPad Pro models give us some insight into just...