The year 2017 was record-breaking for Apple's wearables. According to the latest report by the independent analyst company Canalys, 18 million Apple Watches were shipped in 2017, up by more than 54 per cent over 2016.
"Apple has won the wearables game," said Jason Low, Senior Analyst at Canalys. "Despite innovative designs, such as the rotating bezels and circular screens employed by other vendors, Apple has pulled far ahead as it continues to focus on its core iPhone user base. Its recent updates to the Series 3, such as GymKit and Apple Heart Study, are proving to offer compelling use cases, encouraging users to spend more on accessories."
Launched only in September 2017, the Apple Watch Series 3 was the key growth driver. The total shipments of the latest version of the smartwatch were just under 9 million, which is nearly half of all shipments in 2017. In Q4 2017, the shipments grew by more than 32 per cent over Q4 2016 to 8 million, which is the highest ever number of shipments in a single quarter, not just for Apple, but for any wearable vendor. Canalys further highlights that the Series 3 cellar-connected smartwatch reached 2.4 million shipments to date. It is the fastest-selling LTE wearable on the market. Of the 18 million smartwatches shipped in 2017, 13 per cent were Apple Watch Series 3 (Cellular), followed by 35 per cent of Apple Watch Series 3 and rest 52 per cent by Apple Watch Series 2 and older variants.
Apple Watch Series 3 continued to have the same design but with refreshed innards and watchOS 4. It can also be used to talk to Siri, just like on iPhone and iPad. The Cellular version of the Apple Watch Series 3 has been launched in a few selected countries only and India was not one of them. "The cellular version of the Apple Watch was in strong demand in the US, Japan and Australia, where all major operators stocked it in time for the holiday season," said Vincent Thielke, Research Analyst at Canalys.