With Apple ready to launch its third-generation Apple Watch, overall shipments of the smartwatch are expected to rise to 4.5 million units in the fourth quarter and hit 15 million for 2017.
According to DigiTimes, sources also expect the volume to rise to 20 million units in 2018.
While Apple Watch is going strong, other vendors are dealing with weakening demand for their wearable devices, with Xiaomi and Fitbit both seeing declining sales for their smart bands and shipments from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Huawei and Motorola remaining weak. In addition, Asustek Computer has already decided to depart from the market while Intel has been cutting personnel and R&D resources for its wearable platforms.
The sources went on to say that high prices, weak battery life, overlapping functionalities with smartphones, and not yet fully integrated ecosystem have kept smartwatch sales from reaching expected levels. While the first-generation Apple Watch had shipments of less than 5 million units in 2015, the second-generation model had stronger sales since its release in September 2016.
Apple’s third-generation device is expected to have updated apps and communication functionality, including working as a standalone device separate from the iPhone, as well as have the ability to make calls, send text messages and play music. With that in mind, shipments are expected to give a significant boost to Apple’s overall smartwatch volumes.
The third-generation Apple Watch will be manufactured by Quanta Computer, and Compal Electronics may join the supply chain in 2018, the sources said. And while Foxconn did not have any orders for the Apple Watch, its subsidiary, Shunsin Technology, has entered the supply chain, providing packaging (SiP) services for the Apple Watch.