At a time when market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) has that the Apple Watch share has taken a downturn owing to an ageing lineup and an ‘un-intuitive’ user interface, Apple Inc Chief Executive Tim Cook reportedly said that sales of the Apple Watch to consumers is on course to set a record during the first week of holiday shopping, and the current quarter is on track to be the best ever for the product.
While Cook said the gadget’s sell-through - a measure of how many units are sold to consumers, rather than simply stocked on retailers’ shelves - reached a new high, IDC claims that Apple’s decision to launch its second-generation watches in mid-September, towards the end of the quarter, did contribute to its year-over-year decline in the third quarter and the company stood fourth with 4.9% share.
“Where smartwatches were once expected to take the lead, basic wearables now reign supreme. Simplicity is a driving factor and this is well reflected in the top vendor list as four out of five offer a simple, dedicated fitness device,” said Jitesh Ubrani, senior research analyst, IDC Mobile Device Trackers, said adding that basic wearables, primarily comprised of fitness bands, accounted for 85 per cent of the market and experienced double-digit growth.
Fitbit took the leadership spot with 23% share followed by Xioami with 16.5% share. Garmin took the third spot with 5.7% market share.
However, Cook claims that “our data shows that Apple Watch is doing great and looks to be one of the most popular holiday gifts this year.”
“Sales growth is off the charts. In fact, during the first week of holiday shopping, our sell-through of Apple Watch was greater than any week in the product’s history. And as we expected, we’re on track for the best quarter ever for Apple Watch,” he said.
Apple has disclosed few details about the performance of the Apple Watch, its first new product released under Cook. The company has not broken out sales of the gadget in its earnings, instead lumping it into an “other products” category that includes devices such as the iPod and Apple TV.
Strong sales of the Apple Watch are to be expected during the holiday quarter as the gadget is a more natural gift than some of the company’s other products such as the iPhone or Mac computer, said analyst Bob O’Donnell of TECHnalysis Research. Apple also lowered the price of the gadget this year, potentially helping the holiday sales comparison, O’Donnell noted.