Record Apple Watch Sales Suggest It Isn't a Dud After All

Record Apple Watch sales during the holiday quarter suggest the wearable device is doing much better than many thought just a few months ago.

Strategy Analytics estimates that during the holiday quarter, Apple Watch sales hit a record 5.2 million units. This figure represented 63 percent of all smartwatches sold around the world (8.2 million units) between October and December 2016. Year over year, global smartwatch shipments grew by 1.2 percent, the first increase in six months.

For all of 2016, Apple sold 11.6 million units, vs. 9.5 million units from Samsung and other vendors.

As Apple CEO Tim Cook noted earlier this week during the company’s Q1 2017 conference call:

It was also our best quarter ever for Apple Watch — both units and revenues — with holiday demand so strong that we couldn’t make enough. Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch in the world, and also the most-loved, with the highest customer satisfaction in its category by a wide margin. Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life, and it’s the gold standard for smartwatches. We couldn’t be more excited about Apple Watch.

Because Apple doesn’t release Apple Watch sales numbers like it does for iPhone and iPad, it’s left to companies like Strategy Analytics to provide estimates. Based on these estimates and Cook’s comments, it looks like Apple Watch sales haven’t died on the vine like many had concluded just a few months ago.

Back in December,  IDC said that Apple Watch sales had fallen 71 percent year over year. At the time, Cook explained that Apple Watch sales had hit records during the first week of the holiday shopping season. He promised, then delivered, that sales for the entire quarter would reach new heights.

It will be interesting to see where Apple Watch sales go from here, at least in the short-term. With a new Apple Watch probably not launching until September, Cupertino would be wise to begin offering incentives to keep sales flowing until then. Hopefully, we’ll hear more very soon.

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