Apple remains mum on sales of the Apple Watch, but estimates about the wearable's success continue to suggest it is doing well. The latest, from Canalys, indicates Apple has shipped nearly 7 million smartwatches since its late April debut.
In Canalys' words, Apple is "dominating the smartwatch market" thanks to a sizable lead through the second quarter. In the six months the Watch has been available, Apple has shipped more than all other vendors' combined shipments over the previous 15 months. That's quite an achievement.
Moreover, Canalys says Apple's numbers would be even higher were it not for supply problems out of the gate.
"After experiencing significant supply chain constraints early on, Apple managed to overcome its production struggles with the Apple Watch and is building momentum going into the fourth quarter," analyst Daniel Matte wrote on Nov. 4. "Shipments are steadily increasing as it has greatly expanded the Watch's channel footprint internationally."
FitBit and Xiaomi continue to lead the market for simple wearables, including fitness bands. The Mi Band from Xiaomi, in particular, has blasted through 10 million shipments thanks to aggressive pricing.
FitBit saw growth during the third quarter as well, with the Charge HR band performing strongly.
Other smartwatch vendors haven't been as successful.
Canalys says Pebble shipped about 200,000 Pebble Time Steel watches during the third quarter. Shipments of Samsung's Gear smartwatch slowed ahead of the Gear S2's arrival in the market. Apple was the only smartwatch maker to ship more than 300,000 units for the quarter.
After the first three months of availability, shipments of the Apple Watch were pegged at about 3 million to 4 million. Canalys' six-month estimates fall into a reasonable range given the early performance of the device. First-year shipments for the Apple Watch are predicted to fall between 9 million and 30 million, though at this point it looks like shipments will trend to the lower end of those estimates.
[ Read more about the Apple Watch's popularity. ]
Tractica, for example, is pegging 2015 shipments at 16.7 million.
Apple's smartwatch may be performing better than others, but there are tons of new devices just reaching the market.
AT&T is selling two LTE-connected smartwatches, the LG Watch Urbane and the Samsung Gear S2, that allow owners to make and receive phone calls. Fossil and Tag Heuer are expected to launch smartwatches before the end of the year. Huawei's latest Android Wear device is receiving good reviews, as is the customizable Motorola Moto 360.
There's one thing these vendors don't have: Specifically, they lack in-store pricing bundles that drop the cost of their wearables by $50. Right now, some shoppers can get a nice discount on the Apple Watch at select stores in Boston and the Bay Area.Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio