Nine out of ten Apple Watch buyers choose Series 1 instead of 3

Apple Watch sales go very well, thank you. While Apple does not report its watch-related numbers for strategic reasons in its financial results – we’re still talking about a recent segment after all – surveys like those at Counterpoint show it’s on its way to success.

Counterpoint survey on the smartwatch market (Q2 2018)
According to the latest report by the research firm, Apple Watch holds 41% of the market. A market that has not stopped growing, since sales for the second quarter of 2018 rose 37% compared to the same period of last year.

It is true that Apple’s share fell from 48% to 41%, but it is worth mentioning that we are at the end of the Apple Watch Series 3 cycle and that in a few weeks the “Apple Watch Series 4” will be presented to the world – probably doing with which the company returns to have a good commercial performance. Still, year-on-year sales of Apple grew 17%. The point is that they were overshadowed by the spectacular performance of Fitbit (thanks to the success of Versa), which went from 8% market share to 21%.

Another that performed well was Garmin, with year-on-year sales growth of 35%, maintaining 3% of the market. Samsung has seen its sales fall 43% from 2017 to 2018. The company, however, recently launched the Galaxy Watch and hopes to turn that game around with it.

Counterpoint survey on the smartwatch market (Q2 2018)
According to Flora Tang, a research analyst at Counterpoint, proprietary platforms continue to dominate the smartwatch market, driven mainly by watchOS (Apple) and Fitbit OS. Hybrid watches, which are mostly smartwatches and touch-sensitive sensors, from proprietary platforms (most Swiss brands), have fallen by 22% in the period.

The shift to Android Wear Wear OS has not yet happened as in the smartphone market – and that, according to Tang, is due in part to the smaller focus, the less intuitive user interface and the Google-made partners in recent years. Google hopes to change that with the release of Wear OS 2.0, but it will require a complete overhaul of the user interface, powerful integrations with key Android experiences, and the creation of important partnerships.

The most surprising part of the Counterpoint report, however, has to do with the Apple Watch sales division. According to Neil Shah, the company’s research director, despite the initial enthusiasm surrounding the Apple Watch Series 3 (in the first two quarters of product sales), consumers are actually choosing the Series 1 as the ultimate choice without cell connectivity. And that preference for Series 1 accounted for nine out of ten watches sold in the second quarter of 2018!

Counterpoint survey on the smartwatch market (Q2 2018)
While this is great for Apple (analyzing everything from an ecosystem point of view), from an average selling price (ASP) perspective it’s a bad thing, since Series 1 is smartwatch more in account of the Apple; comparatively, in the smartphone market, the most popular handsets are precisely the company’s most expensive products (the iPhone X and 8 Plus).

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