The Apple Watch has a secret weapon that helps it dominate the market

“When it was first released in April 2015, the Apple Watch immediately became the most in-demand tech item of the season, dominating 75 percent of the smart watch market within its first quarter of sale,” Tonya Riley reports for CNBC. “Apple became the biggest shipper of wearables in 2017, owning 21 percent of the market share, according to a March IDC report.”

“Apple’s big secret in its steady domination? A boost from designer fashion,” Riley reports. “‘The strategy was to really try to separate the watch from just another fitness tracker,’ said Maribel Lopez, Apple analyst and founder of Lopez Research. ‘They easily could have wanted what I call the ‘tech chic’ market, but that wasn’t a broad enough market.'”

“Instead, in 2015 Apple began partnering with designers like Hermès to allow them to capture a broader market of luxury consumers interested in the appeal of heritage fashion brands. Since then, designers including Coach, Kate Spade, and Nike have also partnered with the tech giant to create trendy bands at high price points,” Riley reports. “The partnerships have allowed Apple not just to claim more physical retail space but expand to a new market of fashion-savvy consumers who might not buy into Apple as a luxury fashion product on its own.”

This season’s Apple Watch Hermès bands feature an accent color.
This season’s Apple Watch Hermès bands feature an accent color.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Exactly. The luxury models position the entire Apple Watch line above would-be competitors’ cheap tech junk. It’s why Apple Watch launched with the $10,000- $17,000 gold Apple Watch Edition models.

The $17,000 Apple Watch Edition vastly separates Apple Watch from the stupidwatches. Editions are mobile billboards and perpetual interest-generators for Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport that also elevate the perception of quality for both of those models. — MacDailyNews, March 27, 2015

Apple Watch: 46 million sold, user base likely 40 to 43 million – Horace Deidu – May 3, 2018
Apple Watch, not phones, powered Verizon’s subscriber growth – April 24, 2018
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple Watch sales could top 40-50 million units within next three years – March 27, 2018
Apple Watch dominates smartwatch market – March 1, 2018
Apple’s line of smartwatches outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last quarter – February 12, 2018
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
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
Canalys estimates Apple shipped 3.9 million Apple Watch units in Q317, despite strong demand outstripping supply – November 14, 2017
When Apple Watch surpassed iPod – November 8, 2017
Beleaguered Fitbit’s first smartwatch plagued by design flaws, delayed – April 11, 2017
Apple Watch sales hit all-time high while Fitbit stumbles – March 2, 2017
The Apple Watch is winning – March 2, 2017
Apple Watch had massive holiday quarter; took nearly 80% share of total smartwatch revenue – February 10, 2017
The Apple Watch ‘WOW’ moment – February 3, 2017


  1. It’s a timeless design that looks as amazing today as the day it was released. And it helps that the underlying tech has quickly gotten better year after year, Can’t wait for the new one,

    1. And like a Ferrari, it doesn’t become obsolete because a new model came out (despite the tech obsessives). In Apple’s case the 2015 15″ Macbook Pro is superior to the latest models in many ways. It’s not a good sign for the company, at least as far as laptops are concerned.

      1. absolutely, i love the 15inch Macbook pro Retina (without touchbar) more then the recent mac book pros with their horrible butterfly keyboards

  2. While I reckon that it’s a good thing that Apple Watch is sold as a fashion accessory, I don’t think that the fashion aspect is the real secret weapon which accounts for such massive sales.

    Obviously we would all expect anything from Apple to have an elegant design and Watch is exceptional in partnering with so many fashion houses, but I believe that the real reason why nearly 50 million have been sold is down to it’s versatility and usefulness – the ecosystem.

    I don’t imagine a particularly high proportion of those 50 million sales went to the fashion crowd, but being embraced by the fashion industry adds an attractive halo to the product for less fashion-conscious customers.

    1. Åpple is developing a round form right now. It’s likely to be released after traditional watchmakers adopt Apple’s rectangular form, just to remain unique.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.