That Apple Watch was the number one selling smartwatch was never disputed, but it looks like the device also beat the entire Swiss watch industry for the year. A report from Strategy Analytics estimates that the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss Watch industry in 2019, and this was not even a close a fight if one goes by the numbers mentioned in the report.
Apple Watch shipped nearly 31 million units across the world in 2019, compared to the 21 million shipments for all Swiss watch brands combined, according to the report. Previously in 2017, it was reported that the Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss Watch industry, but that was only for the fourth quarter. In September 2017, Apple CEO Tim Cook had called the Apple Watch as the best-selling watch in the world, ahead of brands like Rolex, but he did not give out any numbers.
This time, the comparison is for the entire year, which shows how the Apple Watch continues to dominate the entire segment.
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“We estimate Apple Watch shipped 30.7 million units worldwide in 2019, growing a healthy 36 percent from 22.5 million in 2018. A blend of attractive design, user-friendly tech and sticky apps makes the Apple Watch wildly popular in North America, Western Europe and Asia,” Steven Waltzer, Senior Analyst at Strategy Analytics, said on the numbers.
In his view, traditional Swiss watch makers like Swatch and Tissot are losing the smartwatch wars as Apple continues to deliver better product through deeper retail channels. “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,” he added on the report.
Overall, Strategy Analytics estimates that the entire Swiss Watch industry had a fall of 13 per cent, given shipments stood at 24.2 million in 2018. While analog watches are still popular among the older crowd, for younger audiences, smartwatches are the preferred devices.
Apple itself does not disclose shipment numbers for any of its device segments anymore. However, during the first quarter results, Apple CEO Tim Cook had highlighted the popularity of the Apple Watch.
He had during the earnings call that, “Over 75% of the customers purchasing Apple Watch during the quarter were new to Apple Watch.” Cook also said that both AirPods and Apple Watch were must have holiday gifts, and helped “drive unprecedented results for the category.” This happened even as Apple faced supply constraints for Apple Watch Series 3 and AirPods Pro.
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