Apple, which is the world’s largest technology company, has now regained its spot as the world’s largest wearable manufacturer according to a new report by the research firm Canalys. The company reclaimed its spot from Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi in the most recent quarter, with Fitbit, Huawei, and Samsung rounding out the top five wearable manufacturers.
During its last quarterly conference call, Apple announced that sales of its wearable products, including Apple Watch, AirPods, and Beats, were up 75 percent year-over-year for the quarter. The sheer size of Apple’s wearable business alone would make it a Fortune 400 company.
In terms of the Apple Watch, the company did not release precise sales numbers but did note that its sales were up over 50 percent year-over year for the quarter. However, a new report from the research firm Canalys sheds some light on the number of Apple Watch sales.
Canalys estimates that Apple sold 3.9 million Apple Watches last quarter, with a sizable portion of those sales coming from the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular model.
While Apple Watch sales increased overall in the third quarter, sales of the S3 GPS + Cellular model were especially remarkable. Sales of the S3 GPS + Cellular accounted for nearly a quarter of overall Apple Watch sales. Even with only a few weeks of availability in the quarter, Apple sold 800,000 S3 GPS + Cellular watches.
The demand for the Apple Watch Series 3 GPS + Cellular surprised many carriers and retailers. While some providers doubted the appeal of a cellular watch to consumers, sales of the S3 GPS + Cellular far exceeded expectations. In fact Canalys believes sales of this model did not reach their full potential in the quarter because limited availability due to retailers and carriers underestimating demand for the product.
Fourth quarter sales of the Apple Watch are expected to be even stronger compared to last year. Improvements to design and functionality are driving demand for Apple’s wearables. Canalys believes that better health tracking options, longer battery life, and, of course, the apparently very popular feature of cellular service will continue to increase the value and desirability of the Apple Watch to consumers moving forward.