Apple’s line of smartwatches outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last quarter

“Apple’s line of smartwatches outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last quarter,” Eric Brackett reports for Digital Trends. “”

“The data comes from industry researcher Canalys and IDC, which compared its estimated sales of Apple Watches to the sales data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry,” Brackett reports. “Canalys estimates that Apple sold more than eight million watches in the final quarter of 2016, making it one of the largest watchmakers in the world.”

“Apple has only been making watches for the past four years,” Brackett reports. “It must be noted that Canalys’ data only provides an estimate of total Apple Watch sales. Apple does not currently provide sales figures for the Apple Watch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: YKBAWID.

Apple Watch sets new all-time record for wearables shipments; ‘Apple has won the wearables game’ – analyst – February 7, 2018
Apple Watch sales momentum is growing; unit sales now rival those of Macintosh – January 23, 2018
IDC: Shipments of wearables to nearly double by 2021 as smartwatches take the lead over cheap fitness bands – December 22, 2017
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: Adidas’ fitness wearables are dead – December 19, 2017
Apple Watch Series 3 shipments predicted to rise to 23-25 million in 2018 – December 14, 2017
Apple Watch: The war for wearables is over, and Apple won – December 12, 2017


  1. I love most of my Apple products. I am quite happy with my AppleWatch. I still submit that horologically speaking, it is not really a watch. It is a gadget. A peripheral to the iPhone. A tiny iPhone for when you leave your iPhone behind.

    It is no more a “Watch” than the iPhone is a “phone.” The iPhone is a handheld general purpose computer. It happens to have a phone app. Calling it a phone is all but a disservice. Calling the AppleWatch a watch similarly doesn’t give credit where credit is due.

    A proper watch, however, is an elegantly constructed mechanical beastie with complex chronometric movements and complications. The Apple Watch is a tiny general purpose computer with teeny weeny apps. So cute!

    Most people who love watches will understand this. It’s a love of the art and craftsmanship in the device. This is why a beautiful Omega watch, for instance, will hold its value indefinitely and possibly go up over time. It is why a nice watch will become an heirloom worthy of gifting to a descendant.

    An AppleWatch will become obsolete.

    Most people are not watch fanatics. They do not get that (pardon the expression) timey wimey sense of the order of the universe a nice watch gives. Something like a beautiful well-crafted orrery.

    I suspect most people just want to know what time it is, and the AppleWatch does that and so much more. It is a natural add-on for your Apple ecosystem. There are already so many things telling you what time it is, it is hard to sell watches in general. So the Apple Watch is attracting people who probably wouldn’t have thought about buying an costly watch to begin with.

    I believe it is a mistake to think that Apple has taken all of these people from the existing watch market. It has instead done what it always does so well, which is find something people want, that they didn’t know they wanted before.

    1. Good comments. One point to consider is whether the Apple Watch is taking revenue from the high end watch market. That could hurt profits and make the industry less robust. Same could be said for the lower ends of the markets that rely on volume for profitability.
      When a disruptive product like the Apple Watch gains a foothold in a market, often previously profitable businesses struggle to survive.
      Whilst the iPhone isn’t just a phone, it turned the mobile market completely around. Many companies like Nokia lost a lot of business and are now a shadow of their former self.

      1. Does a Rolex watch really impress anymore, or does it just look painfully pathetic & outmoded simply flashing garish wealth and being out of touch?

        Oh and very limited functionality that would just as soon see you dead for all it could care.

    2. Yep an old Apple Watch will be obsolete. Just like the first apple computers. Except several of them, still working sold for around a half million dollars!!
      Obsolete but worth a fortune.

    3. I feel your pain, but this is really nothing new. The abacus gave yielded to mechanical and, later, electronic calculators. Beautiful sailing ships faded away in the face of steam and diesel powered ships. Sextants are locked in collectors’ display cases while people navigate using GPS. And beautiful architecture that took decades of manual labor to shape, carve, and assemble has given way to rapidly built steel, glass, and concrete buildings. Watches started along this path in my youth with the first electronic LED and LCD watches and calculator watches. Decades later, you are simply lamenting the progress in a journey that began long ago.

      In the distant future, perhaps, when people find a way to live in peace and robotics and automation provide us with more discretionary time to enjoy life, we may circle back to exalting the beauty and uniqueness of hand-built mechanical devices and handmade crafts and furniture and buildings. At the present time, however, the free market had relegated most of those pastimes to unprofitable hobbies or expensive fashion. Personally, I will never spend thousands of dollars on a mechanical Swiss watch, even though I am in awe of the tiny and complex mechanisms inside of the case.

  2. If AppleWatch is selling that well, then why is it always being called a failed product? Some of these things never make any sort of sense to me. There are too many people making up fake stories on the internet and other who pass those stories on as though they were factual. It’s difficult for me to tell who to believe and Apple doesn’t break out AppleWatch sales figures. It’s these people who are always jumping to the conclusion that because Apple doesn’t release AppleWatch sales figures then sales MUST be poor. However, when Amazon doesn’t release sales figures for one of their products, everyone automatically assumes sales are great. Why is that? An unknown quantity is just that, so it shouldn’t favor one company’s sales over another.

  3. This article on Hodinkee gives a good overview of the state of the Swiss watch industry. High-level takeaway is

    1. Global watch exports are up
    2. Of their biggest markets, China and Hong Kong are up but US is still slumping
    3. Mechanical watches are recovering nicely.
    4. Quartz watches are slumping and the pace of decline has accelerated since the Apple watch launch

    In the end, I think the mechanical watch will survive. Given that most of the Swiss watch industry revenues come from mechanicals, the Swiss watch industry will be fine as well. The ones who I think are in trouble are the manufacturers that primarily produce quartz watches – which would be the Japanese companies, American companies like Fossil and Timex etc.

    – HCE

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