Apple sold two-thirds of all smartwatches in 2015
So the Apple Watch wasn’t the first smartwatch. It just became the most popular in a hurry.
Shortly after its debut last year, the Apple Watch set out to take over the market it was late to, accounting for two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments in 2015, according to a report by analysts with Canalys.
By Canalys estimates, that’s about 12 million units with more than 5 million Apple Watches sold during the final quarter of 2015.
What’s good for Apple is good for other companies with wearable technology products. Smartwatch adoption is expected to grow by 48 percent by the end of 2017 with sales estimates possibly reaching more than $17 billion by 2016, according to research firm Gartner.
Canalys, which does quarterly tracking of the wearables market, also reports that holiday shipments of wearables by Apple, Fitbit and Garmin drove the growth.
Samsung finished second behind Apple after improving the design on the Gear S2. Pebble and Huawei came in third and fourth, respectively. Of the brands, Fitbit had the strongest fourth quarter, followed by Apple.
“Software increasingly belongs on the wrist, and this is the direction the market is going,” Canalys analyst Daniel Matte said in a written statement.
Apple debuted its watch in April and took steps to make it more independent from the iPhone with a watch OS update this past fall. Cupertino is expected to announce a second generation watch later this year.