Apple

The Last Apple Watch-Only Store To Close

The last Apple Watch-only store is closing its doors on May 13.

According to Engadget, the store, located inside Shinjuku, Tokyo’s Isetan department store, is one of three pop-ups the company opened when it launched the smartwatch in 2015.

Apple shut down the other two pop-ups in London and Paris early last year.

In the meantime, the shop has been working to unload its inventory, recently holding a fire sale on Isetan’s website. Its Apple Watch Edition devices were going for as little as $700, which is a steal considering the 18-karat watches retailed for at least $10,000 and as much as $17,000 when they first became available.

In February, it was revealed that the Apple Watch has been driving the wearables market, with sales jumping 60 percent in 2017, with 16 million units shipped.

In addition, CCS Insight predicted that worldwide wearables sales are forecast to grow an average of 20 percent annually during the course of the next five years, hitting $29 billion by 2022.

“It’s not surprising that traditional watchmakers are looking over their shoulders nervously at Apple, given the significant slice of the market it has secured in just three years. Our projections show that in 2018, Apple will come close to matching worldwide sales of Swiss-made watches, which sold 24 million units in 2017,” CCS Insight reported.

Other reports pointed to LTE cellular connectivity as a reason behind the Apple Watch’s success, which also helped expand its availability as more phone carriers began selling the device in their stores. The U.S., Japan and Australia were top markets for the device, while the U.K., France and Germany had a cooler response.

“It was our best quarter ever for the Apple Watch, with over 50 percent growth in revenue and units for the fourth quarter in a row and strong double-digit growth in every geographic segment,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook during the company’s latest earnings call.

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