Apple continues to dominate the smart watch market, holding onto its sizeable lead through the second quarter of Apple Watch shipments.
Recent Canalys findings show that Cupertino has now shipped nearly seven million smart watches since launch, a figure in excess of all other vendors’ combined shipments over the previous five quarters.
Such is Apple’s dominance in the market that in Q3, the tech giant was the only smart watch vendor to ship more than 300,000 units.
The quarter also saw the release of the Pebble Time Steel, which helped the company ship more than 200,000 total smart watches, while Samsung’s Gear shipments declined ahead of the Q4 release of the Gear S2.
According to Canalys, vendors will continue to battle for position behind Apple in Q4 as a raft of new devices from a diverse set of companies hits the market.
For example, both Fossil and Tag Heuer will be launching their first smart watches before the end of the year.
Fitbit and Xiaomi meanwhile lead the market for basic bands in Q3 with Xiaomi’s Mi Band surpassing 10 million cumulative shipments during the quarter.
Aggressive pricing and frequent promotions have allowed it to hit ambitious sales targets, especially in China - Fitbit managed to realize sequential growth in Q3, and its Charge HR band has continued to perform strongly since its introduction.
“All eyes will be on Apple Watch sales during the Q4 holiday quarter as a barometer of the strength of the nascent smart watch market,” sats Daniel Matte, Research Analyst, Canalys.
“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.
“Shipments are steadily increasing as it has greatly expanded the Watch’s channel footprint internationally.”
According to Canalys VP and Principal Analyst Chris Jones, watchOS 2 has brought native apps to the platform, and new colous and styles have refreshed the lineup, but “Apple needs to continue to generate demand six months after launch.”