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Consumer Electronics

Apple launch preview: Apple cleans everyone's clock in online smartwatch sales

by Arye Zucker - April 25, 2018

Image credit: Crew (via Unsplash)

It’s that time of year: Starbucks starts serving Pumpkin Spice Lattés and Apple serves up its crop of new hardware. This year, we are watching to see if Apple fanatics have been waiting for a watch that is smart enough to work without being tethered to an iPhone. While about one in five iPhone buyers have already purchased a smartwatch online--and 15 percent bought an Apple Watch--it has been two years since the hardcore Apple aficionados have had a major update to sink their teeth into.

More than two-thirds of online smartwatch sales are the Apple watch

In the past year, Apple accounted for 77 percent of online smartwatch sales among the big four smartwatch brands: Apple, Garmin, Fitbit, and Samsung. The other three are closely battling each other for second place, but it’s remarkably distant. Fitbit is the strongest of the bunch with only eight percent share.

Millennials gravitate to Apple and Fitbit

Millennials comprise the bulk of smartwatch buyers, clocking in 39 percent of sales, and skew particularly toward Apple and Fitbit. Samsung and Garmin skew toward Gen X buyers, while Boomers and Silents are most likely to have bought a Samsung smartwatch. Most smartwatch buyers are men, with the exception of Fitbit, whose buyers are more than 60 percent female.

Looking ahead

The question becomes, can Apple maintain this category dominance, or even increase it? In terms of revenue, the Apple Watch Series 1 was the fourth most successful launch in the last three and a half years, and that includes four iPad releases, the Apple Watch Series 2 launch, and the launch of iPhones 6s, 6s Plus, and 7.

With the upgrades to the Apple Watch rumored to be an LTE capable watch, eliminating the need for a partner phone for cellular functions-we will continue to watch how the Apple Watch Series 3 will stack up against other launches.

About this data

With a panel of 5 million online shoppers, Slice Intelligence gives the most detailed, and accurate digital commerce data available, and is reported daily.

Slice Intelligence is the only service to measure digital commerce directly from the consumer, across all retailers, at the item level, and over time. Our retailer-independent methodology precisely measures commerce as it happens. By extracting detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts, Slice can map the entire Purchase Graph, connecting each and every consumer to all their purchases.

Slice gets its data from e-receipts – not a browser, app or software installed by the end-user – so its measurement reflects comprehensive shopping behavior across multiple devices, over time which are key in an increasingly omnichannel retail world. Slice Intelligence is the exclusive e-commerce data provider for the NPD’s Checkout Tracking e-commerce service.