How many people are buying an Apple Watch?

One of the biggest Apple secrets is the question of how many people are actually buying an Apple Watch. IHS Markit data suggests the company may be selling millions of these things each year.

The world’s biggest-selling smartwatch?

Wall Street analysts believe Apple will shift around 20 million units of the Apple Watch in the current financial year, which ends in September.

Today’s IHS Markit data supports the thought. It claims that between them, LG Display (10.64 million) and Samsung Displays (8.95 million) took over 75 percent of the total global market for AMOLED displays used in smartwatches.

It is thought both suppliers build the display used in Apple Watch, and while both sell displays elsewhere, the consensus seems to be that Apple’s device accounts for the lion’s share of sales.

Still just nice to have

Smartwatch sales pale in comparison to those of smartphones, of course. Partly because they need a smartphone to work (or did until Apple launched the Watch Series 3), but also because wearables are only slowly becoming systems people really think they must have – at present they are a nice optional extra for the cutting-edge.

Apple’s placing many (but not all) of its Apple Watch promotion bets on the device becoming the world’s best fitness tracker, as well as being a useful communicator, assistant and more. The strategy seems to be generating some success.

Millions sold

However, this latest data into OLED production lends weight to Wall Street expectation Apple is shifting just shy of 20 million Apple Watch units each year.

These estimates match well with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s statement earlier in 2018, when he said: “Apple Watch had another great quarter with revenue growing by strong double digits year-over-year to a new March-quarter record.

“Millions of customers are using Apple Watch to help them stay active, healthy and connected and they have made it the top-selling watch in the world.”

As Siri, Continuity and machine intelligence across the rest of the company’s platforms become increasingly compatible with the Apple wearable, I think we’ll see a shifting mind-set that makes the device a must-have.

I do also warn that feedback I get from people who see my Apple Watch is that they are really interested in the technology but would like it in a different design. Perhaps this is something the company may change this year?


Jonny Evans

Watching Apple since 1999. I don't say what they should do. I say what they might do. They sometimes do.

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