Apple is one of the world’s largest tech companies and thanks to the Apple Watch, it’s now one of the biggest watchmakers as well. In fact, Business Insider has reported that Apple’s line of smartwatches outsold the entire Swiss watch industry last quarter.
The data comes from industry researcher Canalys and IDC, which compared its estimated sales of Apple Watches to the sales data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. Canalys estimates that Apple sold more than eight million watches in the final quarter of 2016, making it one of the largest watchmakers in the world. Not too bad, considering that Apple has only been making watches for the past four years.
For the first time, #Apple shipped more Apple Watches in 4Q2017, than the entire Swiss Watch Industry shipped watches! Apple is the biggest watch maker in the world #AppleWatch pic.twitter.com/G6M6TJ7uO2
— Francisco Jeronimo (@fjeronimo) February 4, 2018
It must be noted that Canalys’ data only provides an estimate of total Apple Watch sales. Apple does not currently provide sales figures for the Apple Watch. It includes its line of smartwatches in the “other products” category. This led some to believe that Apple was embarrassed by low sales figures.
For the first few years of the Apple Watch’s existence, that was likely true. Over the past year, however, Apple has seen its share of the wearables industry expand. Canalys attributes this growth to lower prices and improved marketing.
“Apart from the hardware and software improvements of the new models, Apple succeeded mainly due to its streamlined marketing and re-aligned pricing, which helped it address a wider audience,” said analyst Jason Low. “The Series 1’s lower entry price and Apple’s more focused fitness messaging made its Watch both more attainable and more relevant.”
Comparing Apple to the Swiss watch industry isn’t wholly accurate, however. Some companies within that industry, such as Rolex, make watches that can cost more than some cars, so it is not truly fair to compare them to Apple. On the other hand, Swatch makes watches that are within the same price range as the Apple Watch.