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Apple Watch Leads in Rapidly Growing Smartwatch Market, Report Says

Apple Watch is the "clear market leader" in the burgeoning U.S. smartwatch market, according to a new report from consumer research firm The NPD Group.


Market data shows U.S. smartwatch sales showed strong growth in the 12 months ending November 2018 when compared to the same timeframe a year ago. Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit made up 88 percent of smartwatch unit sales in that time.

The report found dollar sales of the devices were up 51 percent, amounting to nearly $5 billion in sales, while unit sales experienced a 61 percent increase, indicating an impressive acceleration in demand for the wearables.
"Over the last 18 months smartwatch sales gained strong momentum, proving the naysayers, who didn't think the category could achieve mainstream acceptance, had potentially judged too soon," said Weston Henderek, director, industry analyst for NPD Connected Intelligence. "The ability to be truly connected via built-in LTE without the need to have a smartphone nearby proved to be a tipping point for consumers, as they now recognize the value in being able to complete a wide range of tasks on the device including receiving notifications, messaging, accessing smart home controls, and more."
According to the report, 16 percent of U.S. adults now own a smartwatch, which is up from 12 percent in December of 2017. Interest from the younger 18-34 age demographic is said to be responsible for the overall growth in the smartwatch market, but NPD analysts expect Apple Watch will continue to entice older consumers thanks to health features like Fall Detection and ECG and greater control over home automation.

Apple doesn't break out Apple Watch unit sales from its overall earnings. However in its recent earnings call for the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year, CEO Tim Cook said the company's wearables revenue was being driven by the "amazing popularity" of Apple Watch and AirPods, and that the category alone was "approaching the size of a Fortune 200 company."

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Top Rated Comments

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8 months ago

And I remember people saying the watch would fail

I remember saying "I'd never need one of those, it's pointless"... I'm now onto my second one.:D
Rating: 26 Votes
8 months ago
And I remember people saying the watch would fail
Rating: 24 Votes
8 months ago


Apple is treating the world as second class.....


You have to start somewhere and that was always going to be the US. An ECG is not just some cool feature, it is a regulated measurement in most countries. I suspect the entire process in the US to get it accepted via the FDA took a couple of years at least.

For the UK, Apple would need to apply to the MHRA and I can guarantee they will want new clinical trials, that will all take years as well. There is a slim chance they won't want the trials but I doubt it, the stress on the National Health Service if it causes too many people heading to a hospital as their watch told them to will mean it will go through the full process to ensure it meets the required standards.

And that is only two countries, repeat all that over and over for every other country given the different regulations and it is going to take a long time before ECG is available in many countries.

And if you are in a country that does not sell enough watches, don't hold your breath at all...
Rating: 19 Votes
8 months ago

Great product for US citizen and those handful of countries that support ECG .

FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD ,we will be paying full price for a technology that will never see the light of day .

Apple is treating the world as second class.....

Fragmentation...

So it’s all Apple fault for not implementing this brand new feature in all countries simultaneously? Nothing to do with regulatory hurdles or anything else? Just arbitrary scorn on the rest of the planet?

You’re probably right. I mean, Apple Pay just went live in Germany over four years after the US got it. Nothing to do with financial regulators or deal making with key bank stakeholders. Just Apple’s temporary wanton neglect of the rest of the planet because of a superiority complex.

And imagine! An American company targeting the American market for an initial rollout. The nerve!
Rating: 15 Votes
8 months ago

Great product for US citizen and those handful of countries that support ECG .

FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD ,we will be paying full price for a technology that will never see the light of day .

Apple is treating the world as second class.....

Fragmentation...

Apple can’t offer those features in countries that haven’t given permission to allow them
Rating: 11 Votes
8 months ago

And I remember people saying the watch would fail


You mean the members on this site? Members on here are way overly critical on Apple, because a lot of people on here don’t want to support Apple because of how they changed since Steve Jobs departure and over the years, and they don’t share Apples vision with changes with products like the Apple Watch, why? Because they want to see Apple focus more on things like ‘computers’, but Apple became diverse and they realized that there is a place for a smart watch, but not just for notifications, but leading the way in Health features and help those trying to reach their goals with the assistance of the Apple Watch.

If there is one product for the future of Apple that has a strong foothold, it’s the Apple Watch.
Rating: 10 Votes
8 months ago

And I remember people saying the watch would fail

The key thing imo is Apple figured out what they want to focus on the watch, health. Thus their improvements are focused and improved the watch tremendously with every iteration.

We can see on the first Apple Watch, Apple was still figuring things out. But by the S2, Apple already knows their target, so they focus on improvements for that purpose on every iteration. Eg. water proofing for swimmers, the adjustment for wheelchair users, partnering with Nike, GPS+cellular for outdoor runners, EKG for further health uses, etc. There’s a clear vision for the AW.

In contrast look at Android wear. Google cannot even figure out the proper UI for the device, changing things around with every update. Now there a lot of fashion brands using Android wear on their catalogue, but the OS itself has no idea where it should be going.

So it’s not a surprise Apple is leading here.
Rating: 8 Votes
8 months ago

Lol. Relax. Dont buy one if you are offended that much because you dont get a gimmicky feature.


He doesn't speak for the rest of the world. I'm British and I LOVE my Apple Watch. I've owned a series 0 and am currently wearing a series 3. The series 4 doesn't give me enough justification because I believe the other poster is alluding to the ECG which cannot be switched on in the in UK currently. However, I will most likely be tempted into the next upgrade regardless of ECG

However, for tracking my walking, for swimming (I literally had it in the pool for two weeks constantly on holiday), for music (I think the spotify app is great) and receiving notifications, it's awesome and I've come to rely on it quite heavily. Yeah, I don't NEED one, but I'm glad I HAVE one.
Rating: 8 Votes
8 months ago
Hardly surprising. This place has always had a problem with the bigger picture.
Rating: 7 Votes
8 months ago
Great product for US citizen and those handful of countries that support ECG .

FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD ,we will be paying full price for a technology that will never see the light of day .

Apple is treating the world as second class.....

Fragmentation...
Rating: 6 Votes

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