Wearables Like Apple Watch Outsell Entire Watch Industry

wearables, apple watch, swiss, watch industry, smartwatch, revenue, sales

The Apple Watch had a record-breaking 2019, outselling the entire Swiss watch industry, a report by Strategy Analytics indicated on Wednesday (Feb. 5).

Apple Watch shipped 30.7 smartwatches worldwide last year, compared with 21.1 million for all Swiss watch brands combined.

“Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers, but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerized wristwear,” Strategy Analytics said in its report.

Sales numbers don’t equal profit margins, however. “We believe Apple Watch is profitable, but not as profitable as some of the super-premium Swiss watchmakers,” Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics told CNBC.

Regardless, shipments of Apple Watches grew 36 percent between 2018 and 2019. Revenue for Apple’s wearable division topped $10 billion in net sales in the December quarter,  a near 27 percent year-on-year increase.

Since the first Apple smartwatch hit the market in 2014, it has become among the tech giant’s biggest products. The wearables category — which includes Apple Watch and AirPods — is now the biggest slice of Mac’s revenue, resembling the scope of a Fortune 150 company. Apple said last year that over three-quarters of Apple Watch buyers were new to the product. 

To an attempt to stay competitive, traditional Swiss watchmakers have started introducing their own smartwatches. Tag Heuer, for example, has released several smartwatch models, including one that costs $180,000.

“The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing. Time may be running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer, and others,” Strategy Analytics said.

Apple actually does not disclose its sales figures for its smartwatch. All figures are a result of research by the market research firm Strategy Analytics.

The wearables market in North American reached $2 billion in the second quarter of 2019, with a 38 percent increase year over year. The quarter’s growth was led by Apple, with a 32 percent growth, selling 2.9 million units. Samsung grew 121 percent and sold 800,000 units.

North America falls into second place in the wearables market in terms of units shipped (behind China), but it is still the most valuable.




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