Watch Series 3 Helps Apple Inc. Reclaim Its Wearables Crown

Olive Hawkins
November 14, 2017

Armed with his kitesurf and Apple Watch 3 on his wrist, one John Zilles took against the waves on a new underwater hydrofoil wing, but about a mile in, he wiped out, and couldn't get his heavy kit airborne again.

As Canalys analyst Jason Low explained, "Strong demand for the LTE-enabled Apple Watch Series 3 has dispelled service providers' doubts about the cellular smartwatch not appealing to customers".

Grateful for his new Apple Watch 3 functionality that took him out of a potentially risky situation, John Zilles emailed Apple to let them know how he appreciates the gear, and apparently even got a short reaction by fellow fitness nerd Tim Cook himself, in the form of one short but sweet "wow, happy to hear you are safe" reply.

Chinese firm Xiaomi slipped to the second spot with 3.6 million wearables, while Fitbit remained at the third place with 3.5 million units. This is a big jump from the 2.8 million units shipped previous year.

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According to research firm Canalys, the USA firm shipped 3.9 million Apple Watch units in the third-quarter, the strongest ever for Apple.

Launched in September, Apple Watch Series 3 played a major role in pushing Apple back to the top spot. Also, the watch did not reach its full potential in the quarter, suffering limited availability with demand outstripping supply. Service providers had underestimated demand for the new Apple Watch. "In China, [for example, ] customers with high expectations are being driven away by the service disruption fiasco in the country." Mr.

Smartphone makers Huawei and Samsung also make their own series of smartwatches, some of which are created to rival the Apple Watch, but have had to contend with 6% and 5% share, respectively. Smartwatches are vital for improving the overall brand image for smartphone vendors looking to enter the premium segment. Unsurprisingly, the world's top three smartphone vendors are also those selling the most smartwatches. "Apple and Samsung are increasing user stickiness and brand loyalty by adopting an ecosystem strategy, which includes wearables and audio accessories". Q4 performance will be crucial to assess consumers' reaction toward the emerging trend of fashionable smartwatches that prioritize form rather than function.

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