Apple is known as one of the major smartphone makers in the world. However, the American company has slowly been staking its claim in the watch market and recent data suggests that the company is on a fast track to beat traditional watch companies in the industry.
Recent reports show that Apple has sold more watches than any other watch brand in the market. The company even sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry combined. This is a big achievement. A smartphone company outselling traditional watchmakers is not a small feat.
After all, the Swiss watch industry is one of the most revered in the world. Companies such as Rolex and Omega have dominated the industry for nearly a century and many others that have challenged this dominance have all been Swiss-based watchmakers. But it seems that Apple is now making a big entry.
Leading research firms in the industry such as Canalys estimate that Apple sold about 8 million Apple watches in the last quarter of 2017. The entire Swiss watch industry didn’t even get close to that number. The main reason why this kind of success is surprising is because of how fast it happened.
Swiss watch industry leaders have been making watches for over a hundred years. Apple started making watches just four years ago. Over that period, it looks like the American smartphone giant has leaped over the leaders in the industry to become the biggest watchmaker in the world.
However, the actual number of total sales is not clear. As part of standard practice, Apple doesn’t release the official sales data for Apple watches. This makes it very difficult to know how many watches were shipped and how these numbers compare to other watchmakers in the world. Apple bundles watches sales into the “other products” category. But there are other ways to estimate these numbers.
For a long time though there was this assumption that the Apple watch is a flop. For many tech analysts, the fact that Apple didn’t reveal the exact sales numbers for the watches was an indication that perhaps the product wasn’t doing as well as Apple wanted. However, a close analysis of the data showed that the watches have actually taken off substantively. This success was later confirmed by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook. Cook said that the last quarter of 2017 was one of the most successful periods for Apple watches with over 50% growth.
The Swiss watch industry has diversified over the years. Often known for luxury brands that cost tens of thousands of dollars, the industry has also started to produce watches for the mass market. This was an opportunity that Apple took full advantage of. Beating the smartphone maker in this segment will be a difficult task for the Swiss watchmakers and many people want to see how Apple will maintain this growth in the future. The company is expected to venture beyond the watch market by pioneering new smart wearable technology too.