Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 April 2020

Apple Watch outsells entire Swiss watch industry in 2019, report says

The tech giant sold 30.7 million smartwatches during the period

The Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watchmaking industry last year. AFP
The Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watchmaking industry last year. AFP

Apple Watch outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last year.

The tech giant sold 30.7 million smartwatches during the period, almost 10 million more than all other Swiss brands, said Boston-based market researcher Strategy Analytics in its report.

“Apple shipped 30.7 million units worldwide in 2019, growing a healthy 36 per cent (year-on-year) from 22.5 million in 2018,” said Steven Waltzer, a senior analyst at Strategy Analytics.

A blend of “attractive design, user-friendly tech and sticky apps” makes the Apple Watch wildly popular in North America, Western Europe and Asia, he added.

“Analog wristwatches remain popular among older consumers… but younger buyers are tipping toward smartwatches and computerised wristwear,” said Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics.

Traditional Swiss watch makers, like Swatch and Tissot, are gradually losing the smartwatch wars, noted Strategy Analytics in the report.

“Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear,” Mr Waltzer said.

“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.”

Tech companies are raising investment in smartwatches to diversify income as demand for smartphones fall. To attract health-conscious customers and diversify its consumer-base, Apple has integrated an electrocardiography (ECG) app into its watches.

Apple dominates smartwatch market share

Apple Watch also accounted for nearly half of all smartwatches sold in the third quarter of last year as the industry for sophisticated wearable technology grew 42 per cent over the same period in 2018.

After selling 6.8 million smartwatches in the three months to September 30, Apple grabbed nearly 48 per cent of the smartwatch market share. Samsung and Fitbit trailed with 13.4 per cent and 11.3 per cent of global market share, respectively. Fourth quarter figures for smartwatches are not available yet.

In 2018, global smartwatch shipments hit an all-time high of 45 million units and industry analysts expect solid growth in the coming years. According to Research and Markets in Dublin, the smartwatch industry will surge at a compound annual growth rate of more than 35 per cent during the period from 2018 to 2024.

Updated: February 7, 2020 12:10 PM

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