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Apple Watch reportedly sold more units than every Swiss watchmaker combined

Apple Watch Series 5
Apple Watch Series 5 (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple doesn't share its sales figures.
  • But its wearables category goes from strength to strength.
  • A new report claims Apple sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry.

Apple doesn't break down its Apple Watch sales, but a new report claims that the company sold more watch units than the entire Swiss watchmaking business combined last year.

That report comes from Strategy Analytics with the firm believing Apple sold almost 31 million units worldwide during 2019. By comparison, Swiss outfits shipped around 21 million watches.

Just as encouraging for Apple is the news that it reportedly experienced considerable growth, too. 2018 saw 22.5 million units sold. Conversely, the Switch watch business actually saw its sales numbers fall. According to Steven Waltzer of Strategy Analytics, it's all down to younger people making the move towards smartwatches. And Apple caters to them better than anyone.

Traditional Swiss watch makers, like Swatch and Tissot, are losing the smartwatch wars. Apple Watch is delivering a better product through deeper retail channels and appealing to younger consumers who increasingly want digital wristwear. The window for Swiss watch brands to make an impact in smartwatches is closing. Time may be running out for Swatch, Tissot, TAG Heuer, and others.

It's difficult to know how accurate any of these numbers are, of course. But while it always pays to be skeptical, these are the best numbers we have to go on right now. And they don't look great for the likes of Swatch and co.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

1 Comment
  • Well, NO. It doesn't hurt, considering Rolex for example. My Rolex GMT Master is valued right now at 12,000 dollars. My apple watch has declined in value to about 250.00. My Rolex Presidential is valued right now at about 80-100,000 dollar. It's a platinum version I aquired at an estate sale. My apple watch is 250.00 at best. See where I am going with this. Yes, Apple sells more because they are disposable watches. They wear out, become obsolete, and break easily. A real watch is **** near unbreakable, requires no battery, connection to another thing to work and is timeless and classic. I wear my apple watch the same as I would a timex. Just throw it on and if it breaks no big deal, go buy another one. Look at the numbers, I bet timex sells many more watches than apple. This line says it all too. It's difficult to know how accurate any of these numbers are, of course. But while it always pays to be skeptical, these are the best numbers we have to go on right now. And they don't look great for the likes of Swatch and co. Smoke and mirrors!