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The Apple Watch Is Absolutely Dominating The Smartwatch Market

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 13:17
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According to just-published analysis from research firm Canalys, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) generated a whopping 80% of total worldwide smartwatch revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Apple doesn’t specifically break out its Apple Watch sales from its earnings, but Canalys was able to calculate a rough estimate based on information from its latest earnings release:

Apple set a new quarterly shipment record in Q4 2016, contributing to total smartwatch shipments exceeding 9 million units. This global market figure was largely driven by Apple’s 6 million shipments, representing year-on-year growth of 12%. It was the Apple Watch’s best quarter despite being significantly handicapped by supply constraints, even though Apple simultaneously expanded its supply chain. According to Canalys estimates, the Apple Watch generated more than US$2.6 billion in revenue for Apple in Q4 2016, making up nearly 80% of total smartwatch revenue.

The report also indicates that the lower-priced Series 1 Apple Watch, along with a bigger emphasis on fitness features, helped drive higher demand during the second half of 2016.

For the full year 2016, Canalys estimates that Apple represented about 50% of the global smartwatch market, with around 11.9 million units shipped. Next up was Fitbit (17%), Samsung (15%), and all other manufacturers with the remaining 19%.

Demand for Apple Watches in the fourth quarter (which includes the busy holiday season) was so strong, in fact, that CEO Tim Cook said during last week’s conference call that the company couldn’t manufacture enough units to keep up. The momentum is unlikely to continue forever, however. The much-delayed debut of Android Wear 2.0 is due very soon, and should prove a worthy test of the Apple Watch’s dominance in the space.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was trading at $131.82 per share on Tuesday afternoon, up $1.53 (+1.17%). Year-to-date, AAPL has gained 13.81%, versus a 2.45% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

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