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Apple reportedly sold more watches than the Swiss watch industry in the final quarter of 2017. Image courtesy: The Times
Apple reportedly sold more watches than the Swiss watch industry in the final quarter of 2017. Image courtesy: The Times

Apple Watch outperforms Swiss industry

Technology giant Apple reportedly sold more watches than the entire Swiss watch industry in the fourth quarter of 2017, a sign the industry is potentially at a tipping point in terms of smartwatches and wearables.

According to a report from research company International Data Corporation (IDC), Apple’s global smartwatch shipments reached approximately 8 million units between October-December last year. This estimation was then compared to figures posted by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry (SWI), which noted it had sold 6.8 million units in the same period.


"When people start wearing an Apple watch, they like the experience. They do not go back to traditional watches."
Francisco Jeronimo, IDC European Mobile Devices research director

While figures are only estimates as Apple does not report quarterly unit sales and the SWI does not include sales of watches within Switzerland, Apple’s increased watch sales have been largely attributed to the release of its third version of its Apple Watch, which began shipping in late September 2017.

Francisco Jeronimo, research director at IDC European Mobile Devices, was reported as stating the figures showed Apple was starting to “increase its dominance” over the watch industry.

“When people start wearing an Apple watch, they like the experience. They do not go back to traditional watches,” Jeronimo said.

“Even if people prefer the look of mechanical or quartz watches, Apple could easily switch into that market with hybrid models that look like Swiss watches, but talk to smartphones,” he added.

As previously reported by Jeweller, research first indicated smartwatch shipments outpaced Swiss watch exports in early 2016. At the time, it was said to be partially attributed to the Swiss watch industry’s “slow response” to the development of smartwatches.

Commenting on IDC’s predictions for Apple Watch sales in the year ahead, Jeronimo noted 8 million units “would not” be sold every quarter.

“There is always a spike in Q4 that cannot be sustained throughout the year. [However], other industries made the mistake of ignoring this sort of threat for too long,” he added.

The International Data Corporation is a global advisor on market intelligence and consumer technology markets. It is headquartered in Boston and has offices across Europe, America and Asia-Pacific.

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Thursday, 20 September, 2018 08:41pm
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