It's long past time to admit Apple Watch is a huge success

Apple Watch Hermes
Apple Watch Hermes (Image credit: iMore)

I originally wrote this article on January 31, 2017. Since then, Apple Watch Series 3 has shipped and the product has continued to grow. This fall, it surpassed Fossil, Rolex, and other incumbents to become not only the most popular wrist computer on earth, but the most popular watch period.

Now, following Apple's latest quarterly financial results — the best ever until the next — analyst Horace Dediu has made another, more important, observation. Wring on Asymco:

From a revenue point of view, I believe next year's fourth quarter will see the Watch generating higher revenues than the highest quarter for the iPod.In terms of yearly unit sales it may take longer. The biggest year for iPod units was 2008 when about 55 million iPods shipped. Watch is now running at about 16million. If it could sustain 30% growth then it would take until 2022. 40% growth would mean 2021 and 50% 2020.It's not easy to predict growth but my bet remains that Watch will get there eventually becoming the third most popular Apple product. Perhaps even second.Overtaking the iPod is quite an achievement considering that the iPod was once synonymous with Apple itself.

iPhone set an impossible expectational bar. Measured against it, nothing else on earth can be considered a success, including other legitimately successful Apple products, including Watch. But that's why smart analysis and savvy, contextually-sound reporting is key.

Apple Watch is strong and getting stronger. Continuing to frame it as anything else indicates failure only and completely on the part of the framer.

Original article below.

There's a strange narrative in the tech community concerning Apple Watch being a flop, a failure, or in some way, shape, or form, a disappointment. It's particularly bizarre given Apple Watch, as part of the wearable market, is doing record numbers.

From Tim Cook's opening remarks during the Apple's Q1 2017 conference call:

It was also our best quarter ever for Apple Watch — both units and revenues — with holiday demand so strong that we couldn't make enough. Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch in the world, and also the most-loved, with the highest customer satisfaction in its category by a wide margin. Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life, and it's the gold standard for smartwatches. We couldn't be more excited about Apple Watch.

One of the hits on Apple Watch is that Apple doesn't break out numbers for the product the way they do for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Many companies provide no numbers on any products, Amazon being a prime example. Yet that hasn't prevented the very same tech community from pushing a very different narrative around Echo:

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Neil's estimate for Apple Watch for Q1, as published on Above Avalon, was 5.4 million units. For context, that's the same number of Macs Apple sold over the same holiday quarter. It also puts total estimated Apple Watch unit sales at over 25 million to date.

It's not the iPhone business by a long shot — nothing is — but it's big enough business that any other company would sacrifice a C-level executive or two to get it.

Yet, the narrative around Apple Watch was so lost that when Google delayed Android Wear 2, vendors like Motorola/Lenovo exited the market, and Pebble sold itself off, hot takes tripped over each other claiming the "smartwatch market" might be dead.

Fitbit, which makes a wide range of fitness-focused wearables, also didn't face the same kind of pessimism from the tech community. Indeed, they were promoted as incredibly popular and far more flexible thanks to their greater diversity of styles and price-points. Yet their last quarter painted a very different picture.

Apple Watch, meanwhile, just had its best quarter ever. Which, when you combine Apple Watch Series 2's improved hardware, Apple Watch Series 1's lower cost of entry, and watchOS 3's greater coherence, performance, and fitness focus, pretty much anyone could see coming. (Interest in Apple Watch purchases briefly peaked even higher than iPhone on iMore, based on Black Friday and holiday pageviews.)

It could be that there is no real "Smartwatch market", just an Apple Watch market. Much like there's no real "tablet market", just an iPad market. Since it's such a new product category and most of the existing products are still bound to phones, it could also simply be too soon to tell.

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Either way, it's crystal clear that Apple Watch is leading the way, not just in the smartwatch category, but as Apple's bridge to wearable technology in general.

From the same conference call:

With AirPods off to a fantastic start; a strong, full first year for Apple Watch; and Beats Headphones offering a great wireless experience using the Apple-designed W1 chip, we now have a rich lineup of wearable products. Their design, elegance, and ease of use make us very excited about the huge growth potential for wearables going forward.

When you look at what these products do with wireless, voice interface, communication, authentication, and more, and how each one increases the overall value of the Apple experience, it makes the bizarre narrative surrounding Apple Watch seem downright... disconnected.

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Today, Apple Watch is a breakthrough accessory for iPhone. Tomorrow, the sky body's the limit.

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

159 Comments
  • I got my Series 1 for Xmas and absolutely love it. I wear from the minute I get up until the minute I go to sleep and I don't see that changing.
  • Same.. and I don't get the flop thing.. I didn't get it from day one honestly. Just seemed like a Meme too narrative that was click bait.
  • I think the key is that it's been a success within the Smart Watch or Wearable category - but that overall category has not done as well as companies had originally hoped, which is pushing the overall narrative, for better or worse.
  • That, and you always have a million windows/android fanbabies waiting in the wings, just dying to dismiss anything from Apple, knowing deep-down, that's where all their tech comes from.
  • Not at all. Whilst it may be a success we cannot say it without figures. Period. The sales figures are extremely vague.
  • So according to you Amazon has never had a success and never will, since they have never given sales figures?
  • Your post made me curious, so I did a quick Google search. https://www.statista.com/statistics/266282/annual-net-revenue-of-amazoncom/
    http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/amazon-statistics/ I think they do release sales figures. I think I get your point. You just may have used a bad example. I did Google "Apple Watch Sales," and did not get any results. Only investor expectations. Maybe you could find some figures. Now I'm interested to know.
  • Apple has decided long ago not to release sales figures of the Apple Watch. Did you read these links regarding AMZ? They are both behind a paywall with no sales figures.
  • Why/how exactly can the Apple Watch and the Echo be compared? They are two totally different products. Personally, I'm not concerned with whether or not the Apple Watch is seen as a success. I enjoy mine. That's all I really care about. It's a success to me personally.
  • Neither Neil Cybart, nor Rene is making direct product-to-product comparisons. What Cybart tweeted about was the narratives surrounding each product. His contention seems to be that the product that's been declared a runaway success is being outsold by the product that's been labeled a flop for most of its existence. Another thing that adds to the "flop" argument is that  hasn't seen fit to release sales figures, leading some folks to believe that the company itself sees the product as a failure. Sent from the iMore App
  • Apple never said it would release figures. Why tip your hand to the competition? That approach appears to be working as most of the other smartwatch players ran away from the holiday season and Samsung giving away theirs with every Galaxy 7 as a kind of sop to encourage people to buy after the brand damaging Note 7 affair.
  • Seeing as how Apple announced that they would not break out sales of the Apple Watch BEFORE it even went on sale, I don't know that your analysis holds any water.
  • Hello. I know Apple said they wouldn't release sales figures. That wasn't my point. My point was, the decision not to release sales figures only piles on to the negative narrative surrounding the  Watch. Therefore, my "analysis" stands. Sent from the iMore App
  • Which is exactly the problem, people not being smart in their analysis and ignoring the details. Because if one thinks things through, what would Apple releasing sales figures for a device that no one has any other sales figures for from anyone else do? If people just ask themselves that simple question, they'll stop adding to that negative narrative.
    Thought experiment: Tim Cook: "I'm pleased to announce that in 2016 Apple sold 6.8 million Apple Watches".
    Now what? What do we do with that information? Is that a lot? Is that nothing? How does that compare to the SW competition? No idea... lets let the internet just run wild with that data - nothing ever goes wrong when that happens. :-)
  • Kind of odd to take a bunch of clueless analysts guesses and write an article on it. Seems like AAPL manipulation at it's finest. Good job.
  • No, not really. It is noteworthy and has some interesting points. I have a series 2 and have to say I really like it, I came to it via a polar heart monitor to Nike fuel band to fit bit surge to Apple Watch. It finally gives me the best of both worlds, a fitness tracker and a really good watch. I don't use half the features but when I stumble on one I don't normally use, it's a nice surprise. Er, no I never read the manual 😄
  • LOL @ "clueless analysts guesses"... It's not like these "clueless" analysts have an impeccable track record or anything.
  • I've had my series 0 since November '15 and I love it. I wear it from wake up to shut eye. No reason to stop either.
  • I do think there’s much more to the wearables market being more of an Watch than a wearables market, period. It’s biggest problem is that it may only be limited to how much longer a total shelf-life will the iPhone have before it might have a chance to be a stand-alone product. I don’t have an Watch myself, but antidotal chatting with those who have an Watch have never found someone who at least liked it after purchase, and that perhaps the only serious barrier for those who do not have the Watch might be the price, where I thought durability would be a factor. Apple seems to have that problem mostly solved, though battery life could still be a problem as we expect a more sturdy watch, like how we traditionally view a quality watch maker like Rolex.
  • You probably celebrate apple earnings better than any other major event in your life.
  • Yup, thats the way to go about life joyfully and productively. Make personal comments on content writers in the comment section of their website.
  • If that's true, than why doesn't Apple openly state Apple Watch sales like when their other products sell well instead of grouping them with services and headphones and other misc stuff on a balance sheet? Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • I suspect it's simply a change practice. They don't break out Apple TV's either.. and they only give the most general color on iPhones and Macs (No specifics at all on 15" vs 13" or Mac Pro vs iMac vs Mac mini) They'd probably stop iPhone numbers too if it wasn't already an expectation set by stockholders. Dell, HP, Lenovo .. none of them break out numbers at all.. just earnings $$ and profit/loss.. thats it. Most people don't get that it's actually ODD state any product sales numbers at all.
  • Yes, Apple is held to a different standard here. If we're going to ask about Apple Watch numbers, lets also ask for Amazon and most Android vendor numbers as well. I mean, just to be consistent if nothing else.. (My guess is Apple had no idea what Apple Watch would do quarter-over-quarter and, after dealing with iPad, thought better about pushing numbers.)
  • That still doesn't answer my question and is deflection. If Apple Watch sales are so amazing, why do they continue to group sales of them with other products instead of bragging how well their sales on Apple Watch does like they do when iPhone sells well? Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • Because, and it's well know fact for anyone with even the slightest amount of industry awareness and knowledge, that kind of detailed financial information is extremely valuable to competitors. Too valuable, in fact, to be shared publicly. So please stop trolling, and go back to the Nexus forums, or better still, get out of them and spend more time educating yourself before speaking here and exposing yourself publicly as a complete ignoramus. Good grief!
  • Perhaps I'm missing something, but why is it necessary to insult someone just for asking a question?
  • Because it's not a question, it's a troll. They don't care what the answer is, they just want to spend time on Apple forums to talk **** about Apple and their products. I never go to Android or Nexus sites because I don't own one. I used to own Androids, several in fact, and went then, but now I don't. The only reason to go into the comments and make comments like VAVA's is to troll, asking questions that no one can perfectly answer ever because we aren't Apple. These folks would be super happy if Apple just went out of business. Why, not sure, don't want any American computer company? It's just looking for something negative that isn't there to justify their own purchases I guess. Or perhaps they are trying to save us? Maybe that's his goal, to save us from our helpless path toward device **** with Apple. So noble. :-)
  • VAVA -
    I think, at the end of the day, they really don't *have to* because the evidence itself is pretty clear. They are far and away the most successful in the space. They have beat everyone. It is on the books, in the stores, the mindshare, everywhere. That is to say, if the market is 100 pieces or 1000000, if or not  moved 85 out of 100 or 850,000 out of a Million...no one else has. The number doesn't matter. The market does, they have seemingly made plenty of money where others have failed miserably to do so, some to the point of implosion, so...what else did you need to know to validate the facts as they exist, publicly verifiably, without that *specific* data? :)
  • The problem here is Apple's, it is usually the losing product in a market that doesn't produce numbers. Sony gives PlayStation 4 sales, Microsoft stopped releasing Xbox One sales figures once it knew it was losing ground. But, Sony doesn't give PlayStation Vita sales where it is being trounced by Nintendo's 3DS... If you have a "winning" product, you need to be giving up the numbers - otherwise people assume you are losing.
  • Which is why assumption is always a terrible thing. Never assume things otherwise you'll mostly always get the wrong idea
  • That's not the case here because Apple stated officially that it won't release sales figures for the Apple Watch when it first released it. So many people have forgotten this I see.
    This isn't the case that they planned to and then stopped because sales were down. They said they won't provide sales figures for the AW when this all started, haven't from the beginning, never. There's no benchmark for sales in this sector yet (unless it's the AW), so why provide those figures when the competition doesn't?? How does Apple know how many Samsung S3 Gear whatevers were sold? Is there a guarantee that Samsung would release figures once Apple does? No way, especially if they are lower. So if Apple releases figures, it'll just be that number floating in the ether for everyone to speculate on, without a clue as to whether it's good or bad.
  • I came over to Apple once I found out Samsung watch was compatible. Because of the issue with a note 7 and getting Note 5 which was only decent for two months I decided no more. Am very pleased. My G2 works very well. BUT I still got the Apple Watch and LOVE it. A wearable is a great addition to the phone. I feel naked without it Sent from the iMore App
  • I'm still wearing every day my 1st gen Apple Watch since June 2015, loving it more and more. :) Sent from the iMore App
  • Just brought Series 2 to replace Series 1 because of GPS. Love the new band color too! If Apple introduce a round form factor this Fall, I'll loose another +$400, maybe more. Stainless steel and round face - put me down for +$700 this Fall! I have only one gripe - text is too small in Workout. I don't want to nor is it practical to wear glasses while running or working out. I suppose I can use the Nike app. Just a minor gripe, however.
  • Can you not change the text size from settings (either display or accessibility)? If not then that's something you should raise with Apple. Unfortunately I can't see the Apple Watch getting a round form factor, I think Apple made it square on purpose to make it easier to display things. Remember that normal watches are round because they're displaying analog time, so the hands go round in a circle hence the shape. From a UI standpoint, it doesn't work great, otherwise you'd see computers with circular screens as well
  • Round watch faces are great for analog watches because the watch hands rotate around a central point, but for digital watches and smart watches that show time and information as text it makes more sense to use a rectangular form that can show all the information without wasted space. That's why you don't see any circular phones, tablets, or other digital devices. If we used a circular writing system similar to what was in the film Arrival it would make sense, but we don't live in that world.
  • There are many rectangular watches that have hands (including second hands) that rotate around a central point. This is easy on a rectangular watch smartwatch too, as seen with the Hermès watch faces. Apple probably chose the rectangular shape for at least three reasons— nobody else did, they are more efficient in displaying information, and rectangular watches have long been a generally more elegant, dressier device, i.e. jewelry. I'd be willing to sacrifice some 'efficiency' of delivery to have a round Apple Watch. It doesn't have to be an either/or situation. But I think it will be a long time, if ever, before we see a round AW.
  • A circular smartwatch doesn't make sense unless you're going to curve the UI and text around the edges. Text is written in lines, and you'll end up with a lot of wasted space around the "corners", I've seen this with the Moto 360. UIs and circular screens don't work, that's why computer screens have never been circular. I don't think you'll ever see a round Apple Watch, because it just doesn't make sense aside from the gimmick factor that it looks like a normal watch, but a normal watch is only designed to display analog time, which is designed for a circular shape
  • You will definitely see a round Apple Watch. Just wait.
  • The only point that Apple will make a circular Apple Watch is if other, circular smartwatches become more popular than the Apple Watch. Even then if they do decide to do it, then will have to redesign the OS UI and get all the app developers to redesign their apps too. I just can't see it happening
  • There were rectangular smartwatches before the Apple Watch.
  • Clearly you haven't used the Gear S2 or Gear S3. That is bar-none the best designed smartwatch, period. The interface and how you interact with the watch is near-perfect, and there is no notable drawback to the circular design at all. Note that I also own an Apple Watch.
  • It's illogically round so it's a design fail from the start.
  • What's wrong with wearing glasses while working out. I do it everyday. :)
  • If an article has to be written to say that its a success rather than seeing everywhere its not really a success its basically rubbing some data in the face. Also there are no numbers from Apple whatsoever to justify it.
    I'm using Apple Watch and I like it but I don't think its a hit.
  • Why does mentioning something good, have to indicate that there's something bad? That's a very negative viewpoint to have in life, I guess the glass is always half-empty with you. The data is accurate, and I'm personally loving my Apple Watch still 🙂
  • There's something bad because Apple never revealed the actual numbers and it's a known fact that Fitbit is ahead of Apple in wearable devices. Look around yourself how many Apple Watch would you find and how many Fitbit's you find.
    And no need to get personal I never said against you or anything about you.
    My glass me be half full or negative but I don't disrespect anyone for no reason whatsoever
  • Fitbits are quite different to the Apple Watch though. The Fitbit is mainly focused on fitness (hence the name) and has far less features than the Apple Watch. Many people are very interested in fitness these days, that's why Fitbits have become very popular. Comparing the Apple Watch to other smartwatches (you can't really class the Fitbit as a smartwatch) it has been far more popular than the rest. But yes, in terms of fitness bands or fitness accessories, the Fitbit probably has beaten the Apple Watch
  • Apple Watch or Fitbit they all come under one category of wearables they're not exactly different as they might have different focus but they all do most of the same things
  • They're different, one is a fitness band, the other is a smartwatch. It's like comparing a dumbphone to a smartphone, yeah they're both phones which text and call but the latter has so many more features it's simply not in the same category
  • No they're not different yes one has better features than other but in market/industry standards they both come under "wearable technology" so when you talk about numbers in market you have to stick to a category. It could be a Toyota Camry or Ferrari or a Bus they all come under vehicles.
  • But you would never compare a Ferrari to a bus when talking about sales/popularity, you just proved my point…
  • Well you don't really understand the concept and will never accept so there's no point of explaining you. The Bus and Ferrari might be different but they both come under Automotive sector like and yes you're right Fitbit is still ahead of Apple Watch in numbers
  • Ok, let me simplify. Yes, you're right in saying both the Apple Watch and Fitbit come under a "Wearables" category. The same way a bus and a Ferrari would come under an "Automobiles" category. However, when comparing sales, you would only compare things that are close together in sub-categories. For example, you'd compare a bus to other buses, never to cars or a Ferrari. In the same instance, you don't compare an Apple Watch to a Fitbit, you'd compare it to things like the Samsung Gear S3 or Pebble. What you're doing is comparing apples and oranges, which again are both in a "fruit" category, but there's a reason that idiom exists.
  • Ok seems like you don't get the concept here's article from Fortune magazine
    http://fortune.com/2015/08/27/apple-wearables-market-share/
    and
    https://www.statista.com/chart/4423/wearable-device-shipments-2015/
    That's the reality you can keep telling how different they are etc but end of the day that's how market is categorized.
  • I don't get the concept? LOL. I've just explained it to you several times. At this stage you're so stubborn with your own beliefs that there's no point in me explaining anymore. Keep comparing apples to oranges, buddy
  • I literally showed numbers shown in fortune magazine and you still think you're right clearly shows who's wrong. I don't care about what you say I believe what financial websites and magazines have to say
  • I don't care about what you say either! We're not getting anywhere here. You don't compare an Apple Watch to something which has a completely different use-case. A hammer doesn't work the same as a screwdriver, they're both tools but they have completely different uses, I could go on forever with this…
  • Lol you can say Apples and oranges or hammers and nails but as per market statistics Apple Watch and Fitbit come under warebles and I have shown you proof and you have none. Clearly shows who's right or wrong and who's going on about it.
  • You're going on about it too, and just because you've provided two links, doesn't mean the rest of the internet compares them under a "wearables" category. Some websites might, but why would you say "Oh, the Fitbit is more popular than the Apple Watch, I'll buy that", when it's a completely different device?
  • Yes entire article is about success and when we talk about success , market numbers statistics in financial websites matter. And by the way it's not just two websites find any financial website that doesn't compare them together I will give up , go ahead it's your chance to prove. And by the way they both are not different infact since series 2 launch Apple keeps telling people to use the watches for fitness and guess what Fitbit does in the first place. And also Fitbit has smart watch. Anyways if you any proof of your claims from any financial website come back or don't bother.
  • https://www.wareable.com/smartwatches/the-best-smartwatches-in-the-world Fitbit is nowhere on this list, because they're comparing smartwatches, not fitness trackers. The Apple Watch is a smartwatch which also includes fitness tracking. The Fitbit is purely a fitness band, which as a bonus has the ability to receive notifications, though it can't do anything further with those notifications, it's not a smartwatch, it can't install apps…
  • Like I said any proof from any financial website if you don't then don't bother and which in turn means you're wrong.
  • Or maybe it's you that's wrong? I'm still trying to fathom how you think a Fitbit is anything similar to an Apple Watch apart from the fact that the Apple Watch has fitness capabilities. That's like saying a calculator is the same as a smartphone because a smartphone has calculator functionality. I can't believe someone can be this dense…
  • Yes Apple Watch and Fitbit are different but in terms of success in wearable market Fitbit is ahead which I have proved time and time again and you keep coming back even though you claim that you don't care about what I say and also you can't prove that Apple is ahead.
    You said I live with negativity etc. and now you are calling me dense all over an object really ? I'm a human being and I never used any such words against you, clearly shows what level your maturity is and how much of human you are and don't bother to respond it will save both of time as you will never agree with me and neither I will and at this points even facts don't matter.
  • I give up, you're on a completely different world to me, where vaguely similar objects can be compared…
  • Ofcourse, it will be different world because its called reality that's what all financial magazines and website do including Fortune but according to you we all are dense.
  • Reality 😂. Next up, comparing an iPhone 7 to a Nokia 3310
  • is this the same 'Fitbit' where the company is losing money and will be having layoffs soon? That one?
  • It's stock went down , so it's cutting down the costs but they did pretty good acquisitions like Pebble etc so they can be back anytime soon.
  • You obviously don't understand business. A company doesn't lay off people because of stock price. Fitbit is cutting size because sales and revenue were much lower than anticipated. This also caused the stock price to drop but the stock price itself has nothing to do with the decision Sent from the iMore App
  • When I said that stocks went down that meant they're having trouble with revenue , ebitda etc and its just not the sole reason and I know that thanks for your concern and assumptions about me .
    In general when a company beats its revenue expectations its stock go up when it doesn't they go down and again these are not the sole reason for stock prices to go up or down.
    By the way I work in business Intelligence I deal with numbers all day.
  • They said they wouldn't provide numbers for some time before the watch came out. This isn't a PR reaction to weak sales on Apple's part (whatever weak sales would even be?), they made it known that sales figures would not be reported when the watch was first released. Because of this, your argument is baseless. If on the other hand Apple didn't make that statement and wasn't reporting numbers, I'd give you that it's suspicious.
    I have no illusions and don't think it's selling tens of millions per quarter. No way. They might sell a couple million per quarter, I don't know. But that doesn't mean anything because without a benchmark (like smartphone sales have developed over time), these sales figures won't mean anything. Releasing them would just provide so much fuel for debate and speculation and since other manufacturers don't release their smart watch sales figures, why should Apple do it? So people can sit and speculate that say 5 million in 2016 sucks and Apple is doomed, without knowing that maybe Samsung only sold 2 million?? There's no relative benchmark, Apple would be stupid to release figures.
  • I completely agree with your but mine are not exactly baseless views , as an smartwatch Apple is on top no doubt but when it comes to down to the wareble market Fitbit rules yes those numbers from different financial websites may not make sense but that's the current bench mark. It's like who sold maximum phones and smartphones both are different but when it comes to market share both matter.
  • Well, I guess your glass is always half-full but that shouldn't mean that your claim (of having a half-full glass) is necessarily truthful if you decide to hide your glass behind your back. Brag about it BUT show that you are right.
  • My barometer for a techs success is how many people are using said tech on my morning commute on the train and Tube. Very few people sport an Apple Watch, with far more wearing a Fitbit or similar device. So I'm not convinced that it's been successful, and even though my analysis is completely unscientific it's usually pretty accurate.
  • "and even though my analysis is completely unscientific it's usually pretty accurate." Right… and it will be taken with a pinch of salt, respectfully. This data is accurate, and it is a success, regardless of how many people you see using it based on your unscientific, unbacked, unsupported "analysis"
  • I never said it was accurate, just that I haven't seen that many in the wild. There's about fifty people in my head office I interact with daily, I have a fair number of friends and none of whom wear an Apple Watch.
  • That doesn't mean it isn't popular overall though. Sure there will be places where barely anyone has one, but overall, it's been very popular
  • Popular in relative terms. Clearly not popular enough to have any kind of significant or notable market presence. In my office we have approximately 80 people. Two people have the Apple Watch, and that includes me. Both of us have the 1st gen Watch.
  • I think some people would disagree, but either way Apple themselves have been successful off this product, and are continuing to develop the Apple Watch.
  • I see far too many of them when I'm out for it to be a flop. I live in an average sized town and when I go into my town centre I see at least 2 and that is without looking. There are probably more. Sent from the iMore App
  • It's anecdotal unscientific evidence for sure, but I too see FAR more Apple Watches on wrists than any other smart watch, and I always notice what sort of watch people wear (smart or traditional) just because I'm a "watch guy". I live in the suburbs of Chicago so I see lots of different people all the time and have noticed an explosion in Apple Watches on wrists over the past 12 months. When it first came out in 2015 I admit for the whole year it was like spotting a unicorn. Now I see a few daily and easily more than any other brand.
  • Yes I love the Apple Watch Sent from the iMore App
  • Not buying the figures for the Apple Watch, but to each their own. I do agree it is by far the best selling watch wearable, just don't trust the apparent success. For example, Craiglist in my area is devoid of any Series 2 devices, and it's not for the fact that people are keeping them. Even anecdotally watching the store traffic, I am yet to see somebody spontaneously walk out with an Apple Watch. For the record, I own an Apple Watch and find it tremendously useful, albeit crappy looking compared to my Gear S3 Classic (then there is also the battery life of the S3 Classic compared to the Watch, and a few other things).
  • Just because it doesn't have a circular screen doesn't mean it's "crappy looking". The Apple Watch has a nice, simplistic look to it, just like other Apple products. Some people may not be a fan of the design, but I certainly wouldn't go as far to say it's "crappy looking"
  • Well, that is my opinion. It's useful, but it looks like a Casio calculator watch.
  • I actually have a calculator app on my Apple Watch, Calcbot to be exact. Something that would be difficult to use on a circular screen.
  • It's an aesthetic opinion sure, but in my opinion, having a round smart watch is akin to skeumorphic design in software. It's not a "normal" watch, lets not pretend is is and force words and notifications and maps and such to awkwardly fit into a round screen. Being square just makes so much more sense for what it is given that telling time is a very small part of it's use. For perfect looks when I dress up, I'll wear an actual real (and round) Swiss timepiece rather than a fake digital one. Just my 2 cents.
  • So you don't trust statements by the company CEO which are subject to SEC oversight, but you DO trust a weird anecdotal "Craigslist indicator"? Seriously?
  • I'd love to try one, but my every day watches get beat to sh*t, and I don't feel like throwing away that much money on something that might not last long. (And it seems that buying one only to wear for a special occasion doesn't make a helluva lotta sense.) Having said that, I rarely see them out in the wild on the trains and streets of NYC and NJ, or on the wrists of my tech-obsessed teens and their friends, and I know nobody that owns one. Now Fitbits, on the other hand (or wrist), seem to be everywhere.
  • Same here. I see one every once in a while. And it's no the price because fossil watches are about the same price but look 10 billion time nicer. So yes for me it's about the looks. I'm sure for fitness nuts it's perfect. Sent from the iMore App
  • Just a FYI for you - I originally thought the same thing. I'm notoriously hard on my watches, to the point where I was going through about 1 quality watch/year at one time. However, I invested in the Space Black Stainless Steel (Series 0) and have worn it 95%+ of my days since June 2015, and have had *zero* issues with it. Within the first month, I went full-speed into the latching mechanism of a chain link fence, no scratches/chips, etc.; since then, I've hit it on door frames/latch strikes, car door edges, counters, shelves, rocks, pretty much everything, and absolutely nothing - no damage. I'm 100% sold on how well it's held up, and couldn't be happier with my investment. That DLC coating is unbelievable, and the sapphire crystal is right up there as well. I paid for AppleCare, and I'd be shocked if I have to use it.
  • +1, they're incredibly durable
  • Good to know. Thanks guys (or girls). And to the d-bag that down voted me for whatever reason, thanks to you too! :D
  • Hopefully in a future update will get the ability to clear all messages from the watch Sent from the iMore App
  • Do you mean clearing all notifications? That's just a force press on the notifications pull-down. (It's been that way always.) The force-touch iPhones now have that feature too. (Force, ahem "3D" touch the "x" for the Clear all notifications command to pop up.)
  • Knew an iOS team lead that wasn't aware of that force push shortcut. He saw me do it one day and was deeply embarrassed.
  • I did something similar with scrolling the digital crown on a series 2. (for series 0/1 owners: this gradually brightens the screen - a handy feature when you're trying to check the time in a movie theatre.)
  • We've got a reasonably good idea of watch sales from apple's filings and comments, so far we have: 1. Apple watch is Apple's best product launch to date.
    2. Apple watch has as much market share as when the iPod was considered a success - despite the Apple watch having a higher sales volume than the iPod at that time.
    3. Looking over Apple's sales history, the watch is outselling iPhone by a lead of about 2 years at this point.
    4. Similar to the iPod, the iPhone was considered a success when it had this much market share and sales volume, yet all we hear is doom and gloom for the Apple Watch. Certainly there is no expectation that the current generation of Apple Watch will be as popular as the iPhone is today, but it is neither sluggish nor a disappointment, it's been a winner from day 1.
  • Yet we have vague statements from Apple and no actual numbers to back things up yet when iPhone sells well, they can't stop themselves from bragging about units sold. Does not add up. Posted from my Nexus 6P
  • It absolutely adds up, and their original statement on the topic is perfectly apt: They won't be releasing sales figures for competitive reasons (even if the sales figures are good). A lot of Apple's competitors look to Apple's success or failure within a market to determine if it's worth entering or staying in. For example, despite Apple keeping the iPod line relatively updated until a few years ago most competitors left the market once they saw iPod sales were declining. Likewise with the iPad. Since Apple hasn't released sales figures for the Apple Watch, despite being able to infer sales figures using quarterly revenue numbers, most competitors think the Watch is failing as much as their own products and are withdrawing from the market like they did with the iPod and iPad. By not releasing sales figures Apple is effectively encouraging competitors to leave the market, and they are, which leaves Apple as the only real player in what, for Apple, is already a multi-Billion-dollar-a-year business. And if those competitors ever decide to re-enter the market once they realize how lucrative it is they'll be so far behind that it will take years to catch up, if they ever do.
  • We keep going on circles here - Apple already said they were not reporting numbers BEFORE the watch ship and will keep it that until the numbers are so high (material as Tim would say) and they have no choice but to report them.
    This is fantastic competitive information that allows them to be nimble in the market - let's say they report 25 million on 2017 -guess what - market will expect every subsequent year/quarter to be higher and this a no win situation.
  • Your information is patently false. While Apple doesn't break out numbers in quarterly sales announcements like the iPhone and iPad, they've absolutely indicated sales figures using comparisons to these products, and then, as seen for Q12017, compared against those prior sales. This already gives us a good idea of minimum sales volume, which is then guided [upwards] by the revenue performance of the "other" segment were the watch resides. As a business decision this makes perfect sense, the ceaseless attraction to making iPhone-clones is fuelled by the iPhone's extraordinary sales performance.
  • What doesn't add up? Apple said from day 1 that they won't share Apple Watch sales figures for some time if ever. That has nothing to do with other products that are mature and that they have already been sharing sales figures for years. It's a strategic thing in a new competitive market, that's all. Why give all the competition, that uses Apple's success in a specific market as a benchmark, any information to base their decisions on? Tim is smart, don't let the competition know anything other than "success", but let them guess as to what the market share is here. It's a completely different story with sharing iPhone sales figures because they've already been doing that for so long, if they stop now, the internet will explode with "Apple is doomed".
    You Apple haters just keep looking for some evidence of failure, why? Why do you even care?
  • I love my Apple watch, I have the original aluminum model. Just as a timepiece it is worth the money, different faces, many customizations not to mention the fact that I don't need to reset the time twice per year, it is truly remarkable.
  • Spot on Renee. My wife and I got each other Apple Watches for Christmas (series 2) and could not be happier with them. We're surprised at how many we see at the gym and around town. The Apple Watch community seems vibrant and growing, and far from a flop on its last legs.
  • My wife & I have had an Apple Watch since day 1, then switched to Series 2 on their first day - giving the originals to our adult sons. We've worn them every day and find them incredibly useful (as do our sons.) Maybe Albuquerque's different, but we see them all the time. (482 day move streak - would be higher, but I tried a beta last year & lost data. Only issue I've ever had.) It seems tech writers tend to want to think Apple is on a downslope as it's been very successful for so long.
  • Wow, that Hermes watch face is cool. I would pay for that, but not as much as they want for the Hermes bands... I wonder how hard it would be to custom design one...
  • I've had one since they came out and I just use it for text notifications. For workouts, I have found that a chest strap with a heart rate monitor is far more accurate than the watch.
    Also, I wish they'd get around to allowing more watch faces. Getting real tired of the same few choices.
  • Cool story bro.
  • My wife never really got the phone but she sure gets the watch. Uses it constantly and is not even aware the phone is helping the watch. She is oblivious to the connection. The watch has become her "iMessage machine".
  • I was never attracted to the original Watch, as the reviews suggested a struggle for it to get through an entire day. But the Series 2 caught my attention and I'm very pleased with the four-day-plus battery life. It has great familiar features, making it an exceptional tool - and of course, a great timepiece.
  • The original Watch (which I'm using at the moment) has much better battery life now thanks to the OS updates. I get about a day and a half's usage out of it, which is fine for me. I'm happy as long as I at least get a day, then I can just charge it each night, not having to worry about it in the day
  • I love my series one Apple Watch. I got it for use with my dexcom continuous glucose monitor. But it's beyond that now. I had a Samsung gear watch and stopped wearing it after a month. I hated it. But I love my Apple watch. Just ordered a new band last night for it
  • Even Apple's flops are better than other businesses' successes. I always saw it as a sleeper hit because I just see many people wearing them now, but podcasts and tech bloggers still deem it a disaster, guess their expectations for Apple is just too high.
  • It's doing well now because Apple understood that the first one was garbage, and then don't make the series 2 a smartwatch, they made it a glorified activity tracker - people understand what that does, it has a purpose. The "smartwwrch" never had a purpose. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • The first one isn't garbage at all. I bought it on day 1 and I'm still using it now. I loved it at the start and I love it even more now. I'm a happy user of the first generation Apple Watch, I don't need it to have its own GPS, so everything that it does at the moment is fine for me.
  • The first gen was great for setting expectations. Everyone that saw potential is still there and some with gen 2. The ones that didn't see the potential left a long time ago. They might come back someday but not until they've been disappointed by some of the other offerings out there. I always hear great things about Samsung's latest but the anecdotal stories are hard to believe especially coming from immature Samsung fans only trying to make Apple fans feel stupid for going all in on Apple Watch. Can anyone give an unbiased take on the latest Samsung watch? Anyone who says it lasts 5 days on a charge using LTE immediately falls into my BS filter.
  • My original Apple Watch continues to prove its worth daily and I immediately disabled the health and activity features.
  • Terrific piece. I bought my Apple Watch the minute it was available and I've been loving it ever since. Someday I'll spring the bucks to get the new Nike version, but until then, I wear mine every day. As for the Echo, with wireless headphones, the Apple Watch is an Echo for your wrist.
  • Cook said: "Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life, and it's the gold standard for smartwatches." ...i see what you did there, Tim!
  • I sat on the fence for a year & watched the OS and reviews over time before I made the leap, got the Nike+ version a month ago. Fantastic device in it's own right and a great compliment to my iPhone. It was actually the AW2 that swayed me back to iOS after 3 years of Samsung exclusively. Android is a complete mess & I doubt I'll be back, the Apple ecosystem is so well unified in comparison.
  • "...Amazon being a prime example..." I see what you did there. Sent from the iMore App
  • I was skeptical at first how I would integrate it into my life. I've always used my phone or just wore actual watches. Now that I have one I absolutely love it! Just need to find a good waterproof case for at work. Wouldn't want to get machining coolant on it now... Sent from the iMore App
  • The Apple Watch is water resistant. The series one is up to one meter and the series 2 up to 50 meters. You shouldn't need any additional protection for splash or spill protection Sent from the iMore App
  • "Water resistant" I believe theres a difference between machining oil, and water.
    Im sure apple wasn't testing resistance for machining oil, or any other type of oil.
  • What what is new on here. Everything is a success. Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Except your attempt to troll, which wasn't a success.
  • ... said the knuckle-dragging troll.
  • Once again everyone misses the point of Rene. Quiet simply he will take any negative on Apple and turn it into a positive (Look at his articles) . Come on now, he exists to push the Apple narrative and the Apple product. Fact is, thats why Imore exists to do and how they make their revenue. I own a ton of Apple products and generally really like them, but I find it abhorrent how tech journalism has devolved into marketing. Just a shame.
  • Once again, trolls creating narratives based on their own biases rather than reality. The Apple Watch is by far and without a doubt the most successful smart watch to date. There is no negative, just a smaller niche market for Apple to dominate that will never (or at least for the foreseeable future) come close to smart phone sales.
  • "I find it abhorrent how tech journalism has devolved into marketing."
    Yet, you will come to the site, read the article, and comment on it. Seems to me like you're exactly the target audience it was written for.
  • I’m not Rene and he’s correct.
  • I disagree; I find his reviews to be fair and consistent with what I usually find with Apple products. As he pointed out, there's been a lot of odd press about the Apple Watch, trying to cast it as a failed product, when it has been anything but, and when it's overtaken any competition. None of that matters to me; I love my series 3, loved my series 1, will certainly buy the next iteration when it gets released.
  • The apple watches by far the best smartwatch on the market. However he smartwatch market as a whole is not going so well. If the entire class takes a test and flunks while you get a D+ doesn't mean that you passed.
    At least for me the Apple Watch did not meet the expectations that were set upon it.
  • The Apple Watch seems like a useless object to me. First, my smartwatch must have an always-on display, otherwise it’s not really a watch. Second, it should really be round. Square is ugly and unwatch-like. I have no need for the fitness tracking functionality. This leaves the Apple Watch as being able to do, I think, absolutely nothing for me. In contrast, my Android Wear watch has - apart from the always-on display and round shape - very good notifications, Google Keep and Maps integration. The latter with full-screen map navigation, highly useful with walking directions, when you don’t want to hold your phone in your hand,
  • Why would you want an illogically round smartwatch? Most aalog watches are round because of analog time; form following function. Apple made a rectangular smartwatch for the same reason. It’s like you want your truck to look like a car.
  • Have you looked around and seen all the CUVs/SUVs? People really do want their cars to look like trucks!
  • Watches should be round? Really? And why is that? Because traditional watches worked with hands that revolved around a central pin. By your logic, a car that runs on anything but fossil fuels is just wrong; a TV that doesn't use an antenna just isn't right. A computer without a hard drive is not a computer. The things that you mention that an Android Wear watch does are all things the Apple Watch has done from day one--Apple Maps integration, either walking or driving. I don't even take my iPhone from my pocket. Just look at market share and it's clear that, despite the Android Wear device perhaps being a decent device, it hasn't caught on. Why do you think that round is the only shape for a watch? As to always-on, that's a non-issue and is rarely an issue for me after having an Apple Watch since the first one was released. With series 3, I can go 2 days on a charge; I make calls on it all the time with its built-in LTE; I can use the GPS in the watch when I'm driving, if I wanted to. Best of all, it uses the Apple ecosystem, which beats any other hands down, as proven by market share.
  • That was symphara's opinion. You don't have to agree with it.
  • Well we love ours. My wife just upgraded to a series 3 stainless with LTE. It's not hard to see how great it is once you have one.
    Also, It's awesome for nurses, waitresses and waiters, dental hygienists, and other professions where they can't fiddle with their phone on the job. I see them a lot in these jobs so they can stay notified while the phone remains "put away."
  • Anyone who works in a clinical setting should be bare below the elbow for infection prevention reasons so I doubt an Apple Watch is of much use to them.
  • Gloves.
    And no.
  • Gloves are of course a necessity but so is not wearing a wrist watch. That's what fob watches were invented for.
  • The Apple Watch. The iPod. The iPhone. You're a journalist Rene, not a marketeer.
  • ..
  • I still wonder why anyone would need an Apple Watch. Apple still hasn't convinced me that I can't live my life without one.
  • That's because you don't have one. I wasn't sure whether I'd love it--until I got the series 1. With the series 3 it just got even better, and I love my Apple Watch, so much that I leave my high-dollar watch in my lockbox. Just today, I used it to send texts to friends, to answer the phone when my iPhone was out in the car, to set an alarm reminder for getting boarding passes, to quickly see some texts from a friend of mine... all without pulling my iPhone from my pocket.
  • I had a series 2 Nike Watch, used it for about a week, and returned it because I felt no need for it. I know what the watch can do without a phone. There just isn't a compelling need to get one.
  • you don't need one! I had the series 2 and this series 3 lte very little differences and not necessary at all to be honest. Most cases i will always have my phone so lte is not needed. i have the gear s3 lte which i never used for lte calls. you will definitely live without it. its more a convenience than necessity.
  • That.s the thing. Cell phones are necessary. Apple hasn't given me any viable reason why Apple Watch is necessary because there isn't any reason. I'd rather spend the $400 on something else.
  • Long time Windowscentral user here, first post on IMore. I’m a new owner of a series 3 lte, iPad Pro 10.5 and iPhone X. No doubt these products are a success but sometimes that’s because of the failure of everyone else. In this case Microsoft dropped the ball and Apple was a good second choice. These products all have flaws and I think we should be careful not to swell Apple’s head. Let’s keep them honest and pushing forward.
  • You're obviously not familiar with the work of one Rene Ritchie.
  • Lol, actually I am. I know if Apple sold a phone that only had 5 minutes of battery life Rene would say he now spends more time talking to his family because his phone won’t last more than 5 minutes. I listen to Mac break I know he’s very Pro Apple. Now that I’m using more Apple products I’m definitely seeing Apple short change us because no matter what they put out the loyalist will find away to call it the greatest thing ever. However I must admit the watch is far better than I thought. When I asked an Apple guy at work why I should get one, he could only tell me how beautiful it was and had no ability to explain the pros and cons.
  • When Apple made possible for windows users to use iPod, it was game over for all other MP3 player producers including Microsoft. If Apple was to make Apple watch compatible with android it would be game over for all other smartwatch producers.
  • This I totally agree with this. I would have bought the Apple Watch when it first came out if it worked with Android or heaven forbid, Windows Phone. Once my company said they're going all in on the iPhone I pulled the trigger on the Series 3.
  • And yet I still rarely see one out in the wild. Unlike iPods (back in the day) and iPhones, which were/are ubiquitous.