The Apple Watch is on top of the smartwatch market, but the latter is still very small


New research by Kantar Wordpanel shows that the Apple Watch has dominated the world smartwatch market between May and July this year. Apple's wearable has secured 33.5% of the U.S. smartwatch market and a 31.8% market share across the four largest European markets – Germany, France, Italy, and the UK.

Additionally, Kantar says that 47% of wearables' sales in America occured in the smartwatch segment, rather than that of popular fitness bands. While the evident consumer interest in smartwatches is good news for the industry that's struggling to establish its prevalence, the reality remains that the smartwatch market is still rather small.

Apparently, only 4.7% of Americans and 3.2% of Europeans own a smartwatch. Wearables, as a whole (including fitness bands, sleep trackers, and similar accessories), have been picked up by 15.2% of Americans and 8.1% of Europeans, according to Kantar's statistics.

While no signs of major change are to be observed, 9.3% of the Americans and 11.3% of the Britons surveyed intend to purchase a wearable in the next 12 months. This may not be a smartwatch, though, as according to a separate research by IDC, customers are more interested in fitness bands and other basic wearables. They have the advantages of being priced more accessibly and having a clearly defined purpose.

Thus, Apple's focus on fitness with the Apple Watch Series 2, which features a GPS tracker and waterproofing, could prove to be a smart decision. As customers are interested in fitness tracking, the Apple Watch 2's sports-oriented features might entice them into purchasing Apple's domineering wearable.

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30 Comments

1. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Apple Watch 2 is no where near Fitbit, when it comes to fitness; it's no where near the Gear S3, when it comes smartwatch capabilities; it's again no where near the Huawei watch, when it comes to aesthetics. It's just sells because of the Apple brand.

5. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I concur!

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Wow, this is a great testament to Apples hype and propaganda. All the power to them to sell a smart watch with 18 hours of mixed usage, and 4 hours of GPS usage, and that is with its watch face off for the vast majority of its life. I always said that Apple could sell $hit on a stick, and they would come running to buy their loyal brand anything from Apple. Even with the latest watchOS 3 users still cannot add new watch faces, and there is still no option to leave the watch face on like other smart watches. That was really smart of Apple. If current Apple watch owners want the Nike or Hermes watch faces, then they have to buy another Apple watch.

14. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Explain to me why not all of their products is at the top of the list?

19. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

That was a sarcastic post. As if it's great that the Apple watch still has 18 hours of mixed usage, and if you leave the GPS on then you have to charge it a few times in one day. Plus you still can't add watch faces, while smart watches like Android Wear, Pebble, and Tizen can all change or add any watch face you like. Also Apples watch face is off for most of its life, and there is no option to change that. Other smart watches have there watch faces on all the time, and look inconspicuous compared to Apples watch.

20. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Apple needs to make big changes. Especially the looks and some of the basic functionality.

23. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

He explained; it's not because the Watch is objectively better than the other smartwatches (it's actually worse) but because of the crazy brand loyalty that Apple is enjoying. In his words, Apple can sell s.. on a stick. Under these conditions, you cannot claim that sales are a direct result of a good product.

24. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Yep. if this is the case, all of Apple's products will be #1 in sales no?

26. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

They are...

15. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The problem with the claim is percentages can mean anything. Claiming Appel has 1/3 the sales, isn't saying how many have been sold. Motorola could have sold 25,000 watches. If apple sold only 3 times as many as them, 75,000 wouldn't be all that big of a sales figure. The claim is Apple has shipped 13M of these since day one. Based on that, they would only need to sell 1/3 of them to be above their biggest rival. Since day one of the Gear, Samsung has sold at least 500,000 based on different models. So that isn't much for 3 years of sales. Assuming Apple sold 3 times as many in the whole world, that is still less than 2M sales. I'm not going to count sales to retailers because I am sure with what I found, Apple has shipped watches to over 12,000 locations in 28 countries. How many are still just sitting on store shelves? Even though I have now seen more of them on peoples arms, I have not seen more than 10. But for a year I saw none. Then 2 with co-workers. When you buy an Apple Watch it is associated with your Apple ID. So surely Apple knows how many have been "activated" to an ID, and how many have been sold from their stores. And they also have an idea, based on retailers that may have reordered stock. With Apple not giving official numbers, percentages don't mean nothing. Samsung, Moto and all the rest haven't given numbers either. We know that Fitbit has sold their smart wearable by the millions and they have officially stated, Apple's Watch hasn't affected sales, because a fitness band is not a smart watch.

21. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It was a sarcastic post. Apples watchOS sucks compared to other smart watch platforms. Not to mention it only supports iPhones.

7. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

Absolutely! Another interesting bit, it's the only smartwatch that women (statistically) are aware of its existence. All other smartwatches sell nearly exclusively to male early adopters. That says something about Apple brand loyalty and the irrelevance of the true value of the product.

29. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Cool story bro.

2. JunitoNH

Posts: 1946; Member since: Feb 15, 2012

From a business point of view, brand recognition, and sales expectations is the end game. Is it not? http://www.businessinsider.com/android-wear-apple-watch-google-advantage-developers-2015-4

3. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Brand and sales lead to the end game, but aren't the end game themselves. A true innovative company should care about the quality of their products and offer all the latest bells and whistles - that's what Apple doesn't do. Sales expectations are the end game for acompany, but not for the consumers. Though there are consumers who value brand recognition beyond actual quality. Such consumers are sheep, and rightfully so - it's unreasonable by any stretch of logic.

6. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I concur

8. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

I concur

13. Freeza

Posts: 95; Member since: Apr 03, 2016

So, what do you gain from buying it?

16. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

That link is and has misleading information. First off it claims that out of all the OEM's selling a watch that runs Android Wear, the claim is they only sold 720,000. However, they list Samsung as one of those OEM's. Last I checked, All of Samsung's options run Tizen. When you go to this link -https://www.android.com/wear/ you will see there is no device there made by Samsung. I am not saying Apple didn't outsell Google. Just saying the numbers coudl be wrong because they are counting OEM's who dont even sell product. Even if Apple sold 3 times as much product, that would only mean Apple needs to sell 2M devices, which is certainly perceivable. But that still is a guess. With Apple not saying, then I expect that even if they do outsell Google, its still a flop.

4. Feanor

Posts: 1346; Member since: Jun 20, 2012

First of all, 3-5% is a lot better than what I thought. We cannot compare smartwatches with smartphones, they are just not as useful to be directly comparable. Second, congratulations to Apple for having such a strong following that they are able to push their rubbish smartwatch to number one sales position. iPhone is a good product, Apple Watch is in terms of design, interface and function one of the worst smartwatches, period.

10. mudcat626

Posts: 224; Member since: Jul 13, 2016

Awwwww, they lump Apple Watch in with the cheap Fitbit to try and blur the fact Apple Watch is top smart watch. The S3 doesn't really have any apps so it's a waste. Where are the new Android wear watches. Their are none. Just like in tablets, Android wear is not selling. If you don't like Apple Watch move on and buy your S3 or Android wear watches. Oh I forgot you guys aren't buying them anyway, so move along kids.....

11. lyndon420

Posts: 6737; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

It's obviously geared towards women and children...who else would be attracted to a Mickey Mouse watch face? What better way to showcase your 'luxury' smartwatch than with a Mickey Mouse watch face lol. The rest of the world is obviously waiting for the smartwatch to mature.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

There is the new Micheal Kors watches that run Android Wear. They only came out a few weeks ago. Oh, there is the new Fossil watches that came out a little over a month ago. And the new Nixon Mission was just announced. Plus we are still waiting for the new Asus ZenWatch 3. But if we were all as ignorant and clueless like you mudcat626, then of course in your eyes Android Wear wouldn't have anything new. But I clearly showed you how wrong you really are. I guess Android Wear is doing a much better job of making users smart watches look like normal everyday watches. That is something that Apple still has to fulfill. What am I saying Apple still needs to have a watch face that stays on all the time, or let users change or add their own watch faces. If a current Apple watch user wants a Nike or Hermes watch face(s), then they have to buy another Apple watch.

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The S3 isn't even out yet. So how are you even comparing. Also since Samsung's offerings only run Tizen, they are actually in their own class. Also they literally have 1000's of apps, that have nothing to do with watch faces on Tizen. What apps do you actually need on a watch? The whole app argument for a wearable is stupid. Because the app doesn't give you all the ino and you end up viewing it on your phone anyways. health apps on all platforms are fairly comparable. if you wanna talk about stupid games, what fool would play games on a tiny display? specially on the Apple watch. Seeing that the Apple Watch last 4 hours with heavy usage, it has to be pretty disappointing to anyone who has bought them.

18. ctdog4748

Posts: 797; Member since: Mar 05, 2016

The hurt from the Samsung fanboys is hysterical! Keep green thumbing each other, that'll make ya feel better! Ok losers, now think; The Samsung Gear watches (Gear, Gear S, Gear S2, Gear S3) work not only with Samsung devices, but with a whooooooollllleeee lot of other android devices. The Gear watches probably work with over 100 different devices APART from Samsung devices. Now add up ALLLLLL those different devices, and you're going to tell me the Gear can't outsell the Apple Watch, the Apple Watch being shackled to iPhones only, and we all know there are a WHOLE LOT more android devices out there than iPhones. Now let's think; Apple people see the Apple Watch, they like it and they buy it. Samsung people see the Gear lineup, and, well, they just come to forums like this to complain about the Apple Watch. They don't actually buy the Gear. Hmmmm...... Oh and all what I just said applies to android wear as well. Don't hate Apple for building a product people actually want to buy, ask yourselves the hard questions, like why YOU aren't even buying a Gear or android wear watch. Ok girls, go back to green thumbing each other & feel better.

22. sgodsell

Posts: 7218; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

First of all it's really hard for the average user to see or even know that an Android Wear or newer Tizen watch is a smart watch, especially when they look and act like regular watches. You know with their watch faces left on all the time. You know like a regular watch where you can quickly glance at its watch face. Something that Apple doesn't allow it's users to do. We all know that you ctdog4748 that you are a loyal Apple user. So your view would never count, because you would buy an Apple poop on a stick, if Apple sold them. Then you would be first in line to preach and tell everyone, that Apple makes and sells the best poop on a stick. So please ctdog4748 what have you learned here today? Please, do tell us all.

30. Leo_MC

Posts: 7216; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Even if he is an Apple fan, he has a valid point: if gear watches are so much better than Apple watches, why hasn't been bought by at least the same percentage (not absolute number) of Samsung users? Because Samsung sells more smartphones than Apple, hence gear would outsell Apple Watch.

27. tedkord

Posts: 17312; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Unless it's changed recently, the Gear S2 and upcoming, not yet released S3 are the only ones that can connect to other android phones. I had a Gear S, could not connect it to any other phone.

25. jeroome86

Posts: 2314; Member since: Apr 12, 2012

Apple having the best selling smart watch doesn't really mean anything. Think lots of people lost their watches when smart phones became so popular. Still on the fence about any watch. Might consider a Fitbit though.

28. mudcat626

Posts: 224; Member since: Jul 13, 2016

You can tell the Android watches because they are so big and gaudy. My co worker has a S2 and looks at my Apple Watch and says I like the Apple Watch better because of the look and functions. I don't laugh at him because he is a co worker, but that Watch cracks me up. So yes you can spot those butt ugly tizen and aw watches. Don't get me started with the cheap ass fit bits, lol

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