Science

Apple is the biggest wearable maker once again

Apple is the biggest wearable maker once again

According to market tracker Canalys, Apple shipped 3.9 million watches in the third quarter, but only 800,000 with an LTE wireless modem included.

Apple saw strong interest in its updated Apple Watch Series 3 smartwatch in the third quarter, but most buyers opted for models without the most-touted new feature: cellular connectivity.

Canalys Analyst Jason Low stated for the report that "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers".

Chinese firm Xiaomi slipped to the second spot with 3.6 million wearables, while Fitbit remained at the third place with 3.5 million units. Still, their performance was better than average in the sluggish Q3, according to Canalys, where business has historically been slower. Apple now commands 23% of the wearable band market, compared to 21% for Xiaomi, who bagged the top spot for the first time in the previous quarter. Sales would have been even stronger if retailers had not underestimated demand. Apple also released the new WatchOS 4 operating system for all Watch generations.

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Have you or are planning on buying an Apple Watch Series 3 before the end of the year? This meant overall wearable market shipments declined 2% to 17.3 million units, in what is traditionally a slow quarter as consumer hold off on purchases until the Christmas period.

At its earnings call, Apple said the Apple Watch grew 50% year-over-year in sales but continued its silence on revealing exact numbers for its wearables.

The device suffered from some modest supply constraints in several important markets like China, as Series 3 launched with just days left in the third quarter alongside the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Huawei and Samsung were well behind. "Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories".

At 9.53 a.m. EST, Apple shares were down 0.57% at $173.02.