Apple Watch sales hit 7m just six months after launch
The Apple Watch continues to leave its smartwatch rivals in the dust, with a new report claiming that Apple has shipped nearly 7 million of the devices since launch – a figure in excess of all other vendors’ combined shipments over the previous five quarters.
Apple does not release official sales figures for the Apple Watch, but the report by independent analyst company Canalys claims that Apple was the only smartwatch maker to ship more than 300,000 units in the third quarter of this year.
Its closest rival, Pebble, saw shipments reach 200,000 in the third quarter, according to Canalys, thanks to the launch of its Time Steel smartwatch, made from stainless steel with a colour e-paper display.
However, shipments of Samsung’s Gear smartwatch range declined during the period, ahead of the release of the new round Gear S2 later this month.
Canalys analyst Daniel Matte said that all eyes would be on Apple Watch sales during the run up to Christmas, as a barometer of the strength of the nascent smartwatch market.
"After experiencing significant supply chain constraints early on, Apple managed to overcome its production struggles with the Apple Watch and is building momentum going into Q4," he said. "Shipments are steadily increasing as it has greatly expanded the Watch’s channel footprint internationally."
Vice president and principal analyst Chris Jones added: "watchOS 2 has brought native apps to the platform, and new colors and styles have refreshed the lineup, but Apple needs to continue to generate demand six months after launch."
The Apple Watch is the company's first foray into wearable technology. It comes in three versions – 'Sport' in anodized aluminium, 'Standard' in stainless steel, and 'Luxury' in 18 carat gold. Each model is available in two sizes, 38mm and 42mm.
The watch features a square touchscreen sapphire crystal display, and can be controlled using a little dial on the right hand side of the screen, known as a digital crown. It runs a modified version of Apple's iOS operating system and also has an integrated heart rate monitor.
In September Apple released a software upgrade for the Watch, called watchOS 2, bringing support for third-party native apps, new watchfaces and improvements to Siri.