Yesterday Strategy Analytics announced that it believes Apple shipped 3.5 million Apple Watches in Q1 2017, making it the global leader in wearables and displacing Fitbit. If true (Apple doesn’t publish its numbers for Apple Watch), it’s pretty remarkable.
The Apple Watch is at a significantly higher price point than a lot of its competitors (including Fitbit), which makes them selling the most units even more impressive. The Strategy Analytics report doesn’t cover profit but I’d speculate that Apple is leading on making money in wearables even more they are in unit sales.
I have to say, however, that I’m not surprised. If you own an iPhone, the Apple Watch is an extremely useful (and expensive) accessory. Getting notifications on my wrist means my gigantic iPhone stays in my pocket a lot more often. There’s also several other nice little delights for Apple Watch owners. Turn by turn directions (particularly when you are walking) are awesome. Being able to ask your wife if she needs more bananas while you’re walking through the grocery store by just talking to your wrist is also pretty great. Overall, Apple has made a lot of progress with the Apple Watch with recent hardware and software updates and I’ve spoken with very few people who bought one and didn’t end up using it every day.
It always strikes me how people talk about Apple Watch success as if they are surprised. In some ways, the Apple Watch reminds me of Tom Hanks’ brother, Jim. He’s a great guy. He does voiceover for Woody. But also, he’s Tom Hanks’ brother and everybody always wants talks about Tom Hanks, not Jim.